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Friday, September 30, 2005

REBUILDING BIG EASY

As promised, Linden Lab has loaned out two linked regions for events to benefit hurricane Katrina victims. Appropriately dubbed "Big Easy" and "Biloxi", anyone who joins the in-world group "SL Katrina Relief" will be able to help decide what events to sponsor there. Last I heard, group members have scheduled a meeting this Saturday, with a plan to build and stage a Mardi Gras-style parade through a recreated New Orleans.

What with Hurricane Rita and numerous political scandals now dominating the front pages, it's easy to forget how deep Katrina's damage was, and how much effort it'll take, to get all her victims back on their feet. This would include the family of SL Resident billy Madison, last seen in New World Notes hosting a 9/11 memorial site, in 2004. As reported then, he had just joined the Air Force. Since then, he's served a tour in Iraq, and was at Ramstein air base in Germany, when he got word of Katrina hitting his home town.

Uploading digital photos into the Big Easy, he showed ReallyRick Metropolitan and me the swath that Katrina had cut through his mother's home. "[The house] wasn't half as bad as my Dad's [home]," he tells us, "Which was filled with canal water. Nasty ass canal water. Like you fall in it, you grow another hand type of s***... front of the house was kinda ripped off."

To make matters worse, for awhile there, he couldn't even find his father. "[H]e was missing for a good week. No one could find him. My mother called Red Cross. [The Air Force] sent me home ASAP and then like two-three days after being there, I found my father. Was on the way to his summer home in Texas and got stuck in Baton Rouge. Couldn't get out, traffic and storm." (And no cell phone either.) Other Second Life Residents impacted by the storm are slowly rebuilding their lives too, and I hope to check in with them soon, too.

So the relief effort continues: Contact ReallyRick Metropolitan or Katt Kongo for more information on upcoming projects planned by SL Katrina Relief.

Posted at 10:02 AM | Permalink

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