Thursday, April 17, 2008

Current Events Hit Home

My husband works for the Texas Department of Health Services as a liaison for disaster preparedness, specifically bioterrorism preparedness. This has not always been his career, but since 9/11, this is a field that has required more people and more expertise.

When the recent raid on the polygamist sect occurred near San Angelo, a mere three hours from Austin, we had a feeling Chris might be deployed to help with the emergency ops and emergency shelter, especially after his work with the same when Amarillo housed Hurricane Katrina evacuees. He got the call about a week ago and left for the small West Texas city this past Monday.

He can't share many details because of confidentiality issues; however, he can share information about his hotel. San Angelo is a city of about 100,000 people. There is a small state university, but needless to say, there aren't many hotels in the entire city. Now that attorneys for the children and media from all over the world have converged upon the city, hotel rooms are hard to come by, so the State put Chris up in a fleabag hotel. In fact, it's so bad, any female employees that were scheduled to stay there demanded better accommodations somewhere else. Hubby, on the other hand, used to be in oilfield sales and is sadly used to staying in similar places in small towns in Western Oklahoma and West Texas.

This particular hotel is the kind where you smell the curry before you walk in. No big deal. Chris knew he'd be working long days, and as long as he has a bed and a shower, he was fine. After working more than 15 hours yesterday and getting back to his room around 11:30 last night, he proceeded to get ready for bed and noticed there were no towels. Not one. He called the front desk and was assured towels would be delivered to his room shortly. After 30-45 mins., Hubby decided he'd get them in the morning and went on to bed.

This morning, he called down to the office, and after several rings, there was no answer. He threw on some shorts and went down himself, only to find the desk unattended. He pounded on the bell for several minutes before an East Indian man finally came out. Chris is normally a pretty patient, mild-mannered guy, but the lack of customer service only compounded the lack of towels in the room. The guy was so slow in responding that if Chris weren't so mad, it would've been comical.

When Hubby returned to his room tonight, he walked in, and there were two Hispanic guys hanging out. In his room. They didn't even act like it was any big deal that Chris was walking in while they were there! Hubby didn't know if the hotel clerk checked him out after this morning's confrontation, or if he'd been checked out by mistake. He grabbed the few things he'd left there and was able to get another room.

He got situated in the new room but then left to do a load of laundry. As he was leaving for the laundromat, a small kitty made itself at home in the room. Chris welcomed the kitty in and then left. I think he's hoping the feline will leave a present or two in the room for the housekeeper. LOL We're laughing about the hotel situation now, but I do feel bad that he's working such long days and coming back to miserable accommodations.

Back to the polygamist sect. Again, Chris can't share many details, but he did say there was a girl about Cameron's age (12) with her baby. I'd heard the State had damning evidence. I doubt it gets any more incriminating than that, does it?


Amber said...

Sandra, I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this post! I remember spending a few days in San Angelo at the lake as a kid...and I can picture the type of motels you're describing! LOL On the other hand, I think Chris' observation of the "young mother" pretty much says it all. I personally hope they go after those sickos with everything they've got. And the mothers, who are crying on Larry King Live...I think a lot of them are abused themselves, and I have some compassion for them, but I still think some of them will be shown to be accomplices to the rape of children. They themselves were probably raped as young girls. My heart breaks for these young children being ripped away from their families...but the cycle has to stop in these sects. It's a disgrace to our society. And hopefully due process, however long it takes, will weed out the ones who are innocent and the ones who need to spend the rest of their lives behind bars.

Ledell said...

Keep up the good work.