Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thoughts on V (10) Day

New Orleans, La. Accompanied a group of women from VSU to the V Day Celebration at the Superdome, there were four other women, two older students, and two younger. We left in three cars, which turn out to be three separate groups, at 6:30 Friday and tried to get there as quickly as we could, arriving by 2:30 at the motel. When we couldn’t check in right away we went to the Dome to see what was happening.

Once in the Superdome, we went to the activist lounge to meet with all the different groups, later we went down to the ground floor and entered the main area. When you walked onto the main floor of the dome, you passed through a large plastic model of a Vagina, like you were being reborn, changed. In front of the Vagina were displays by and about women. There was a huge ball of Bra’s and figurines. Around the side of the arena were poster, and T-shirts of various towns and school and countries that had put on the Vagina Monologues. At the opposite side of the Vagina was the main stage. Back across the arena, was a small tent for private intensions? A short distance from that tent, an Alter had been laid out with a white cloth on a platform with flowers, crosses and candles. I was moved by how it was set up, but when I read in the description that this was created as a memorial for the victims of Katrina; I lost all control and began to cry. I had the same reaction the first time I stood before a replica of the Viet-Nam memorial which happened to be set up in Austin for the Inauguration of the New Governor of Texas, many years ago. Anyway, our small group sat in the chairs on the main floor, listening to a discussion of how the women of New Orleans has survived and flourished.

It was getting late in the afternoon and we were tired, so we went back to the motel to check in and then went back down town to find a place to eat. There just happened to be another event down town and there were people everywhere. Normally, I don’t like crowds very much and I try to avoid them as much as possible. But since this was my first time EVER in New Orleans, we walked all over the French Quarter, and saw a lot of drunken people. Since I was driving our small group of students, I didn’t have any alcohol to drink, sour grapes!!! But I had a great time with Kay, we bought some prints and I had reading with the cards, very interesting what she said.

The next morning we went back to the dome to see as much of what was going on as we could. I really wanted to do the parade that morning, but it didn’t work out with the others in our group. We spent a few hours at the dome so that every one in our group could do what they want. In the early afternoon we went back down town for lunch and to look around. We bought another print and had our palms read, totally different readings than with the cards the night before. Our intensions were to return to the motel so that the girls could change room, but it seems that we had not changed the clock in the van and thought we would be late getting back for the Vagina Monologues that night, after we parked the car, spending another $5.00 to park, only then did we realized the time difference; so we just hung around the dome, waiting for the evening’s performance.

While we were sitting and waiting, an older woman approached us and began telling her story of waiting in the dome during Katrina and what happened after and how she managed to escape to Houston to the Astrodome, after four days I the superdome.

We managed to find our seats (those nose bleeds seats in the upper balcony), and waited for the show to start as 7:30; it didn’t start until after 8 pm, but it was worth waiting for. We had a great time cheering for everyone. We finally left the parking garage at around 11:30 and got back at the motel around Midnight.

No comments: