Johanna 's Travel Blog

July 04, 12:18 AM

Today we were successful at infiltrating….

Again in search of BP folks who could help us volunteer, we went to the community center of Grand Isle. There, I was first suspected to be a reporter and even when I assured the claims officer I was not, mum was the word. The guys conversed enthusiastically with Jessica, an attractive BP woman and with much evasion, we gave up on trying to find a contractor and instead went to explore. We went to the beach that had been roped off and saw a family with kids playing in the water. Moments later a dune buggy drove up and told them they need to get decontaminated. They were livid. As we walked around the area we saw numerous hand painted signs chastising BP and what they have done to the community and beaches.

We drove over a serpentine bridge essentially connecting the marsh lands that comprised Grand Islands, and walked our way onto a BP compound. Before anyone could figure out who we were, we wondered into the the ‘logistics’ bungalow and and spoke with a high-up fellow named Don while he made a joke about firing the guys who let us get in (he may have done so, we saw a tongue lashing as we were heading out…) and he was at least more resourceful than the many people in the many office we went into and got the same run-around.

We were sent to a contractor center and waited in a corner of a portable trailer until we received the same blank stares when we offered to volunteer (as in work without pay, a concept that baffles everyone we talk to) and ultimately, the same useless 1-800 numbers. The folks there told us that that ‘this area was not effected by the oil recently’ and then we decided that we had to go to Mississippi where ‘fresh oil’ was apparently still washing up on the beaches.

We drove back through New Orleans and stopped at Mona’s a tasty Lebanese restaurant with tons of vegetarian options and then onto toward Mobil. Thanks Elaine! We stopped in Gulfport for the night and according to the NYT oil tracer, this is a recently hit site. NYTimes Oil Spill Tracker

We plan to check things out tomorrow (take more pictures, see if there is any work here and then begin to program! It is time to build a new system for disaster relief organizing!!

April 13, 2014 19:25

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