Posted: November 2, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I saw a “meme” on facebook and it made me almost loose my damn mind. It said “Dear Mainstream Media, Sandy Fucked Us Up Too, Sincerely , Cuba”

Oh man I saw red. But, i didn’t comment. While I was stepping over my cousin’s laid about and picking up toys my 7 year old cousin had sprawled around the house I was considering If I was bias.

Yes, I have family in the Rockaway. For those not local Rockaway is a peninsula . Bay on one side, ocean on the other. During Hurricane Sandy the bay met the ocean and certain parts the houses were completely wiped out. Other parts were burned in various degrees from whole blocks completely gone to surface burns from when the transporters blew out. And almost every single house had some degree of flooding from being completely ruined to minor water damage. Some houses were completely leveled. And stuff like the boardwalk is completely gone.

My family lives two houses from the bay and two blocks from the beach. A piece of the boardwalk , from two blocks away, can be found on their block. Not a plank, a whole section of the boardwalk. In my Aunties house, her basement, my cousin’s room, was completely flooded. Talking about water that was raising almost to the top step of the basement stairs to the first floor( which really is a second floor since the houses are elevated) and outside the water was up to the third top step. They lost their cars, like everyone did. And the whole of Rockaway is without power( electricity).

And the blackout isn’t just oh I can’t check my facebook or use the microwave. In fact there is no cell reception at all. But, people can’t shower. They can’t plug in a hose to hose off dirt and debris. They can’t pump out water from the flood. Everything is just stagnant.  If you flush the toilet, it refills with smelly bay water. Tap water is contaminated. No boilers to heat houses. It’s cold outside already. Now imagine cold continuously, no hot food made even colder by stagnant water in your house. The mold is building up, the air quality is diminishing.

Now throw in looting and robberies. People are not only stealing from store fronts , but breaking into people’s personal homes. The McDonald’s was broken into, for the cash registers and  a cop that tried to stop the robbery was shot. It’s turning savage over there.  While the government officials rolled in, they are centralized in one spot and not doing much. The hubby went over with my cousin to see what donated packages they were giving out.  4 bottles of water, a single packet of tuna and a packet with 4 crackers.  While that may okay for a sole person to manage what about a family?

The hubby told me he saw some (previously) homeless people in ragged clothing, still damp looking and covered in sand.  He walked over to them and asked them if they were alright. They turned to my hubby and said ” We’ve been through this before brother… the sand? It’ll fall off eventually .”  And they smiled and kept on walking.

If you walk around there it does look like a third world country.

What made it worse was New York Public Transportation was taken out. And then gas for cars or generators ran out…everywhere.  I spent a big chuck of my day with a phone attached to my head calling every single gas station that has a number listed.

It’s not JUST Rockaway, the neighborhood before Rockaway, Broad Channel,  was almost completely wiped out. Of course all of surrounding towns had various damage and impacted in some way as did other boroughs and other states. But, Rockaway and Broad Channel seem to be stranded. Without help.

While driving through Board Channel a fishing boat has washed onto the Boulevard and is there unmoved. Someone posted a sign on it ” Broad Channel, The FORGOTTEN town”.

The original plan was for my older cousin who is mentally challenged and my younger cousin ( 7 years old) to stay at my( parents) house until the power went back on ( which they said wont be for 2 weeks) and shield them a bit from whats going on and the adults will switch. One day my Aunt and Uncle stay at my house while my cousin and his wife stay at their place and the next day switch. The only reason they wanted to rotate was to watch the house and their three dogs. Now, it’s not like we won’t open our house to their dogs. I love those doggies. It’s their dogs are a bit older and one of them is just like Bianca, real anxious. They don’t do good outside of the house. They didn’t want to traumatize the dogs.  One of them is so old their scared it may have a heart attack  from the anxiety. So that was the plan. But, then gas became scarce and now my dad’s van is on E. So we can’t drive back and forth, bring them hot food or do much of anything.

So it’s not like people are complaining about missing facebook. People are cold. Hungry. They have kids. They are uncertain. They are uncertain about today, about tomorrow and days yet to come.  My 7 year old cousin’s school is literally destroyed. As a parent you cant help but wonder about your child’s education.

It’s just an overwhelming amount of uncertainty.

While crime and savagery is raging. You still see people coming out their house and sharing the little commodities they do have… a can of soup… some bottled water.. some dog food.  Now, like i said almost all of the residents in Rockaway lost their cars. So when i said it seems these towns are stranded its not an exaggeration. Everyone needs something and most don’t have the means to  get it. My aunt dropped of my hubby this morning who was going to help with clean up/removal of stuff and we went food shopping. She had a list for the whole block.

What warmed my heart? Most of her neighbors are pet owners. Almost all of them asked her to bring back dog food and requested nothing for themselves. Of course, my aunt brought back other things for them.

The hubby told me today in their walk to the donation set up, he saw an elderly couple. The kind of elderly that walk holding each other up. They opened up the back of the car and had bags and bags of groceries. Bread, canned goods and crackers. Each bag the same. They started giving them out to people on the street.

So when i saw this meme on facebook, I was angry. But I was hesitating at the same time thinking I am bias. Sure devastation is world wide. I’m more aware of that then others, being a young activist. Who else does their final orientation ( a big oral presentation my high school required to graduated) about “The Vagina Monologues” and interning at a Communist bookstore. I was the one who did college research topics  presentations  on human trafficking and genocide. I was the only sitting back during the Kony2012 debacle like ” umm, mass killing and forcing children to be child soldiers have been going on for many many years how is everyone applauded and surprised by this video?”
I’m just saying, I’m the type of person that is always standing for a cause.  I believe in helping humanity as a whole and weather its by spreading the word, giving your time or financial support, i think we all need to do our part. But, above that, we need to actively seek out what is going on and what to do about. So, i don’t rely on “mainstream media”.

And it goes back to that saying you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself first. While Manhattan is being tending too, and the fucking mayor is even approving the marathon run Sunday mostly because that raises millions for New York City other areas aren’t being tending just as fast or with as much care. Your own backyard is being ignored and your concerned about places else where? If you go down that route, every place outside of the  US has experienced some sort of disaster. Do you know give a shit about them too?

I was so mad also, because I knew the person posting hasn’t seen Rockaway or Board Channel first hand. What they do know of the situation is from “mainstream media” and quite frankly there hasnt been much of it. Irony at it’s finest.

So yeah, I was angry. I contemplated If I was bias.

I decided I just don’t care.

It doesn’t matter.

So tonight, I sat here and caught up on my blogs and commenting on the blogs I followed than i sat down and wrote this.  Devastation is world wide. It no more tragic here than it is there. It’s disaster and its all the same. The difference here is, I can personally get involved BECAUSE it is here.

While I’m mainly helping my family, doing the hostess and babysitting gig and wrangling the phone calls/admin things… I hope I can help so more. Spread the word some more. Donate some more. Help someone replace maybe just a little bit of that uncertainty.
Replace it with hope.
Cause no one deserve to live a life being uncertain.

P.s. Was too tried to read this over and edit it/proofread it. So sorry for typos and errors and what not.

  1. orbphotog says:

    My heart swelled reading your account of post-Sandy uncertainty and terrors. Best wishes to surviving the struggle to survive.


  2. I was recommended this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. You’re incredible! Thanks!


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