BY KATIE OXFORD
Editor’s Note: In 2010, Katie Oxford filed a series of riveting columns from the heart of the Gulf oil spill disaster. In this final column of a new series about her return to Louisiana, she tracks down a young girl named Hanna, whom she first met at a Baptist church in bayou country.
Traveling away from the Gulf, not towards it, feels awkward to me. Down right unnatural. On this day, it was a sure fire signal that my trip to Louisiana was winding down. Bummer.
For weeks, I’d traveled down the bayou. Numerous ones. Sheer bliss. Now, I was traveling up one, driving north to New Orleans where Hanna, I was told, lived with her family.
Hours later and worlds apart, I arrived in the Big Easy. After settling into my hotel, I called Bernadette’s friend, who knew where Hanna lived, and left a message. In minutes, he called back sounding like most folks do in Louisiana — your next-door neighbor. He gave me a phone number adding, “I’m sure Hanna would love to hear from you.”
I dialed the number and low and behold, Hanna answered. I was ecstatic. So too seemed Hanna. For a minute or so we were a couple of chatterboxes. Me especially. As soon as I asked if I could come visit her, she was repeating the question to her mother. My Easter wish — spending time with Hanna — was about to come true.
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