me (jennyherself) wrote in get_up_dread_up,

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Shelter from the storm.

I live in Tallahassee (Florida) for school and since we are only 4 hours from New Orleans, we've had tons of refugees come here until their homes are rebuilt. I've been volunteering for the Red Cross, and 3 days ago we had a rasta family from Haiti come in. They were visiting a relative of theirs in New Orleans when the storm hit and they were forced to evacuate on a Greyhound bus. They barely spoke any English but luckily I know enough French to communicate with them. The mom and dad had these long beautiful waist-length dreads, and they had three dreadie kids (aren't kids with dreads the cutest?!) who were 12, 9, and 7. All the kids had dreads as well. Anyways, as expected everyone who is in the shelter here is just miserable. Today the rasta dad asked me to translate something to the rest of the people in the shelter and he said "Stop crying, you are still alive. You don't know where you're going but at least you aren't going in a coffin. Be thankful you are here. You all say you have nothing, but you have your life. How could you say that is nothing? It is the most important thing of all." And I know it sounds mean written out like that, but the way he said it was really... sympathetic almost. And when everyone heard what he said they came and hugged him and started touching his hair like it had some kind of magical power. He totally turned the mood of the shelter around entirely, much to the relief of it's inhabitants and volunteers. Just thought I'd share, cause it made me cry :)

On another note my dreads are looking pretty nice these days, I will post pictures when things with the refugees and the Red Cross aren't such a mess...
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