Wednesday, September 24, 2008

We're finally home!

Well, one week in Texas turned into two weeks!! I don't even know where to begin, the past two weeks have been so crazy! Zack and I drove handicap accessible vans to Southern Texas with 12 other drivers to help evacuate. We drove a total of 2,896 miles from the time we left home on the 8th to the time we returned on the 21st. My sister kept Zayde for the first week and my parents kept him for the second week. He ended up getting pink eye, which caused a fever and runny nose that last for 3 days. It just about killed me being away from him while he was sick. I am so thankful for my sister and parents for taking such good care of him. It was sooooo hard being away from him, but I knew he was in good hands.

Our schedule was crazy!! We drove from one place to the other all over Southern Texas at all hours of the day and night...

September 8th- Left Arkansas at 5:30pm and drove to Waco, TX
September 9th- Arrived in Waco, TX at 12:30am (Stayed in Hotel)
September 9th- Left Waco, TX at 7:30am and drove to San Antonio, TX
September 9th- Arrived in San Antonio, TX at 12:00pm
September 9th- Left San Antonio, TX at 4:30pm and drove to Beeville, TX
September 9th- Arrived in Beeville, TX at 7:40pm (Slept at a local shelter on cots)
September 10th-Left Beeville, TX at 7:00pm and drove to Corpus Cristi, TX
September 10th-Arrived in Corpus Cristi, TX at 11:30pm (Slept in a hospital parking lot in our vans)
September 11th-Left Corpus Cristi, TX at 6:30pm and drove to Houston, TX
September 11th-Arrived in Houston, TX at 11:00pm (Slept at an old air strip in our vans)
September 12th-Left Houston, TX at 9:00am and drove back to San Antonio, TX
September 12th-Arrived in San Antonio, TX at 1:00pm
September 15th-Left San Antonio, TX at 5:30pm and drove back to Houston, TX
September 15th-Arrived in Houston, TX at 11:45pm
We were trying to sleep in our vans in a parking garage with about 200 ambulances- sleep did NOT happen!
September 16th-Left parking garage (with no sleep) at 3:45am and drove to the Convention Center in Houston, to pick up a patient and transport to San Antonio, TX
September 16th-Arrived at the Convention Center at 4:00am
September 16th-Finally left the Convention Center in Houston, TX at 6:00am (still no sleep)
September 16th-Arrived at the base in San Antonio, TX at 9:30am to have patient assessed and receive directions for the appropriate shelter to take her
September 16th-Left the base in San Antonio, TX at 9:45am to take patient to a local church that was set up as a shelter
September 16th-Arrived at the church at 10:15am to drop off patient
September 16th-Left the church at 10:35am
September 16th-Arrived back on base in San Antonio, TX at 11:05am
September 16th-Finally got to cots and fell asleep for the first time in over 24 hours at 1:00pm! We slept on cots for the next 4 nights.
September 20th-Left San Antonio, TX at 3:50pm to go home!!
September 21st-Arrived home at 2:00am- yea!!!! We woke Zayde up and he just laughed and laughed while I cried and cried! I will NEVER leave my baby for that long again!

This picture does no justice in showing how packed the gas stations were as people were evacuating. There was a vehicle at every pump, and lines of vehicles out to the road waiting to get gas. You could hardly walk inside the store because of all the people, and the lines for the registers and restrooms were extremely long. I've never seen so many people at a gas station at midnight before!

One of our vans waiting to get gas...

This is the hospital where we slept in our vans one night. The night we got there, people were still coming in and out. By the next morning, they had sand bagged the entrance and boarded up the windows.

...the boarded up windows.

...Some of our group eating breakfast at a local diner after a good night's rest in our vans. (Ha!) The waitress at the diner said that they were staying through the hurricane and would be open the next day. I hope they are all okay!

This was our home away from home for the majority of our trip. We were stationed at this air force base in San Antonio where there was a huge warehouse room with cots set up for us to sleep on. After sleeping in our vans, these cots felt wonderful!

In our down time (which was a lot) we played games. Here is Alan, Zack, me and Melissa playing "Phase 10."

There were shuttles that ran from the base where we were stationed to Downtown San Antonio. We walked "The River Walk" and visited "The Alamo."

Melissa and Amy on The River Walk

My cousin, Melissa, was one of the drivers that we went with. (You might remember her and her family from my Florida post.) I am soooo thankful that she was there! We were able to stick together when taking restroom trips, shower trips (which were in a portable trailer- it's kind of like a porta-potty, except a porta-shower- Yuck!), naps, playing games, etc. We really enjoyed hanging out and getting to know each other better. We were together 24 hours a day for 13 days- I miss her already!

Zack and Amy at The Alamo

This is our group (minus a couple) at Hard Rock Cafe in San Antonio.


Brandy said...

Wow I can't imagine being away for 2 weeks! I bet you were so happy to get home and love on Zayde!! Sounds like you guys did some great work down there though! Welcome back!

Melissa said...

I'm so glad to hear yall are home! (Isn't Texas wonderful?? :) ) What an amazing trip! Thank you for helping serve during the disaster. I am so happy you are back with Zayde! Thanks for the update

Jessica said...

Man, oh man... what a schedule you kept! I'm glad you got to do some sightseeing while you were there. : )

Staci said...

Wow! What a giving person you are! That's amazing! You'll get lots of jewels in your crown for this!!

Cassie said... said...

I'm so glad you all were able to do this great thing. I had an amazing time in New Orelans & I wish everyone could do ministry like ths just once.

Ashlie said...

Wow! It looks like y'all had a VERY busy trip! I'm so glad you were safe and able to help people. I know you missed your baby, but that's awesome that you & your hubby took 2 weeks out of your lives to serve others. We should all be so generous! Thanks for going!

Kim said...

I am so glad you guys made it home safe. You are amazing and wonderful to leave your baby and help the people that needed it.

The Holloway Family said...

You have such an amazing heart to do something like that! I'm sure that is an experience you'll never forget! I can't imagine being gone for 2 weeks! We left Brooklynn for 6 days and it just about killed me! I'm sure Zayde was SO excited to see you!

"J" said...

Wow....yall were crazy busy and drove all over! I'm so thankful for yall coming to help like yall did!!! It's GOOD people like yall that help people in need through situations like "IKE"! Bless yall!!!! =) After seeing all the people that came into Houston to help...I would love to help other states next year!!!! I'm sure there will be more "IKES"!

I love the pics from the River Walk! I love it down there it's sooooooooooooooo pretty!!!

Glad yall made it back home safe! I bet you were soooooooooooooooo happy to sleep in your own bed! lol

So sad about Zayde...I hope the lil guy is feeling better!!!!!

I'm so happy to have power back as of Monday afternoon!!! It was a long 10 days without it! I missed my blog and blog friends, I missed tv, I missed hot showers....I could go on and on...

Next trip yall make to Texas...we'll have to hook up and meet! =)

The Lewis's said...

Wow that sounds like quit the two weeks. I'm glad you guys were able to help out and made it home safe and sound.

Jeana said...

Hey Amy, its Jeana on Jessie's computer. No i dont think that its dumb to have a 20 month old in therapy. Eli is 19 months old and has been in therapy almost his whole life. Whith all the tubes and cords attached to him, it is because of therapy he can move all over the place. Eli is in Speech Thereapy and he cant talk but he knows at least 10 sign language words and how to point and tell me what he wants by hand or head guestures. Remember, he is not suppost to be able to do all these things. He does more than about 90%of the kids with the same problems. He shouldnt even be crawling right now but he is and almost walking, and that is ALL becuase of therapy. So yes it is a good thing for him!!!!!!

Leigh said...

So proud of you!

I have always wanted to go to the river walk! Look beautiful.