It is said by some psychologists that if you experience a tragedy or an event of great trauma then you start a new timeline in your life. That is to say that you will tend to refer to events as being before or after the event.
If you speak to the residents of New Orleans then you’ll have no doubt that is true. The date August 29th, 2005 is the day that Hurricane Katrina stormed through their home city. That date is marked in the psyche of the city and every single one of it’s inhabitants. From the shop owner in the French quarter to the worker in the plantation – all look at their lives as being before and after Katrina.
The scars are now beginning to heal, largely due to the tremendous sense of community that the tragedy has created in the survivors. Much of the city has simply been rebuilt brick by brick. There have been many government agencies who have helped repair and improve the flood defence systems which failed so dramatically,
The French Quarter in the picture actually suffered less than the rest of the city mainly due to it’s height. The Quarter is just that little bit higher than the rest of the city, and it made a huge difference to the extent of the damage caused. It’s a very historic section of the city and I spent many happy hours in bars there. One bar owner became a good friend of mine after I showed him how he could access the French TV Station My Replay by using a French proxy server and his laptop – here’s the site by the way!
All across the city though, you’ll see rebuilding still happening and a genuine sense of community. There are many people who have failed to return deciding against living with the dangers that the city has to accept. But there’s no doubt that it’s a fantastic place to live and I’m certain people will return slowly.