Yes, I'm back. Back again....
I have returned again to Louisiana (for the third time in a year) to continue working with the Education systems that were affected by Hurricane Katrina. I am working in the same office (New Orleans) as I was before, doing the same job with the same clients. However, the dynamic of the group in the office has changed very much. When I was here before, there was a very large group (about 20-30 at any given time) that would all hang out together on the weekends, on the weekdays and at lunch. I arrived back expecting the same thing, even though I knew that everyone had gone home months ago.
Well, it is not the same. There are only about 3 of the original group of 30 left (including me). Having said that, the three that are left have had a great time, but it is very strange not having the rest here...it always feels like we are missing someone. We always go to breakfast on Sunday morning at Slim Goodies (we do this religiously every Sunday, rain or shine). It used to work like this: whoever woke up first and had a rumbly tummy would call everyone else and set the time to all meet. This used to take a long time, so long in fact that sometimes we had to split it with another, like a phone tree. Also, so long that sometimes breakfast became lunch. Last Sunday it went something like this: I woke up to the sound of the phone ringing. It was Lea. She said, "ready for breakfast?" I said, "yes". And then we went to breakfast. It was like culture shock. I was picking up my phone and scrolling through all the names looking for someone to call.
Yesterday, another member of the extended group came back. In the next few weeks, a few more are expected back. And we are making new friends and adding to the group every day. Soon, we will be whole again. Soon, going to Slim Goodies will once again be an all day affair, if only becuase of the dozens of phone calls one has to make each Sunday morning.