Friday, March 17, 2006

Back in Cajun country

We are at the Wal-Mart in Abbeville, LA (map). This stop is familiar to us, since we were here last January, on more or less the same route. We are, again, heading for the Cameron ferry. We came through Cameron Parish in December in a Red Cross car, looking for antenna sites. The entire parish was destroyed by Rita, and recovery has been very slow. We are hoping to see some signs of progress as we drive through today.

We wrapped up our work with the Red Cross in Metairie yesterday, and hit the road around lunch time. It was a rewarding couple of weeks, and we were made to feel valued and welcome. We will be seeing some of the same people in our training class that begins just two weeks from now.

A number of people have written in to note that the Datastorm Users map has showed us in the middle of Lake Ponchartrain for the last few days. (In contrast, the map link I posted on the blog was a generic one for Metairie, LA). I want to reassure you that we are still quite dry, and did not run off the causeway into the lake! The weird position location was an artifact of how the DSLocator software, which updates our map position, handles "approximate" locations.

You may recall that the locations of the Red Cross facilities we have been working at, while not state secrets, have not been public information (for the simple reason that we did not have any client support activities there, and clients will swarm to anything labeled Red Cross). Consequently, we have been careful not to disclose those locations through our map links. DSLocator normally uplinks a highly accurate position -- so accurate, that readers of this site have shown up, unannounced, on our doorstep by following the maps. It has an option, instead, to uplink an "approximate" location. It does this by rounding the decimal latitude and longitude coordinates to the nearest tenth of a degree. In the case of our location in Metairie, that rounding put our icon in the lake.

Today we will drive the Louisiana gulf coast along the Creole Nature Trail, cross the Sabine Pass into Texas, and head directly to Houston.

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