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    « Habits for Happiness | Main | Falling in Love with Conflict »

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    maria

    Great post, Carol. I think you're right that we're barely in the beginning
    stages of seeing and understanding the impact of Katrina. There is so much more
    to come on that front, I think, both uplifting and sad.

    I had an 'aha' as I read about how the adaptability required of an immigrant is
    actually helpful in helping people start over. When I moved here with my family
    from Spain at the age of 8 (in 1970), my parents sent over two 'steamer trunks'
    of things ... mostly the beautiful hand-embroidered linens and other household
    things, and we brought our suitcases with clothes, and that was it. Granted, we
    had an aunt & uncle here, and they helped us get set up (well, for a while until
    there was some sort of falling out among the adults a month after our arrival),
    but really, it was like starting from scratch ... and somehow we did okay.

    When I hear about people losing everything in natural disasters and try to put
    myself in their shoes, I often think that 'it's just stuff,' and that the only
    material things I would REALLY want and need are my laptop (for all that it
    contains), my digital camera, and some key papers, and that I could just let
    everything else go if I really had to. I could be totally delusional, of course,
    and I don't mean to minimize that traumatizing experience in any way, but
    perhaps it's a little of what you wrote about ... that having had that
    experience when I was younger of coming here with practically nothing, and
    somehow being provided for, creates some inherent sense of hope of faith that
    things will be okay somehow.

    Lots of good food for thought in your post, as always.

    Anonymous

    Carol, you and Maria are right. A great post. I have a friend whose family fled
    from Hungary during the revolution in the 50's with just the close on their
    backs. She was a child at the time but her home and the belongings she had
    acquired were important to her. She lost them all again in the 1991 Oakland Fire
    Storm when her home burned to the ground while she was on vacation. Again she
    was left with only the clothes on her back and a few in a suitcase.
    While she was financially able to overcome the set back, for years she would say
    and do things that seemed odd if you did not know what she had been through
    (twice).

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