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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Speed post...i'm temporarily relieved of hat-making duties.

I'm in the main shelter room of the Reliant Center, on the shore of a sea of beds. We're a few dozen chairs, 6 tables, 15 volunteers, and a massive pile of kid crafting supplies. I've spent the morning helping todlers cut tape, and making any costume bit the kids can think of out of construction paper. To date: yellow visor with blue number nine, a princess hat with hot dogs and red beans, green supergirl power cuffs with birds and pink stars. Kids are hungry for attention, as usual. So far, other than the odd setting, I could be in any museum activity area in the country. Maybe not any museum...the thirty-so kids I've met have all been black. In fact, I haven't seen a single kid here who wasnt black. On the volunteer sides of makeshift booths, the skin is white. The blue wristbands for refugees and the orange volunteer wristbands are barely necessary. More on wristbands and security later.

Announcements ring out over loudspeakers constantly, "Would the 109-year-old man in the wheelchair return with his family to the triage tent?" Offers of rides to Riverside, California with housing for one year, lots of disconnected families searching.

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