I didn't make it to New Orleans, but the trip wasn't wasted. Why didn't I get there?
First, the heat. It was 85, 90 degrees in mid-October in northern Louisiana, with 70% humidity!
Between noon and 4, i could hardly move. My two cats could not tolerate it as well as me, and the air conditioning is gone from my car and requires an expensive repair.
I got to Shreveport and checked into a campground, a state park near it. There were many survivors there, and I met a couple of them. I was told that going south, the campgrounds, hotels and motels would all be full. In addition, all survivors are now placed in homes and the work of caring for them is covered. Mainly now it is the huge cost to the government - 9 million a day acc. to one source, and of course the work of rebuilding. And, I was warned - the heat would be worse. As a Minnesotan, I find the heat hard to comprehend. The hurricanes are surely a result of excessive heat.
So, it may seem unprofitable, but God had a purpose in my going to Louisiana. The people are wonderful - friendly. They are so much more friendly than in the north, and it was a joy to meet, talk and spend some time with them, in addition to meeting actual survivors. I didn't press them to tell me of their experience, as I could tell they were just in a state of shock.
I hung around Shreveport, saw the movie "In Her Shoes" and enjoyed eating in a restaurant. I also enjoyed the diners out in the country outside Shreveport.
The lessons I learned are that the people of the south are awesome, that God did not directly attack New Orleans with a punishment, but that it was a natural, built in consequence of pollution and overheating that is partly motivated by greed. So it WAS a reaping for sin, but one that the people of Louisiana had to reap in place of many Americans who were more responsible than they.
I also enjoyed the generosity of the state of Louisisna, who allowed me to camp free along with the survivors, and seeing how they were sacrificing all their camping profits for the sake of the survivors.
It is clear to me now that the majority of those who suffered were African Americans who have relied heavily on the government. It was also a reaping that the government failed them. The relentless attitude of the government being a big, mean daddy who owes everything and who must provide everything, even in the face of bashing and harsh criticism, is one that finally produced the negative result that it inevitably will. The government, a type of idol, a substitute for trusting in God - FAILED. And the church did not. It is as it should be.
I met a young lady of Indian descent (east Indian) who said that India is many times 120 degrees with 70, 80% humidity. Oh my Lord. That sounds like hell on earth. I am amazed that there are people enduring weather more formidable than the cold of Minnesota, and that many people in the world are not happy about their weather.