Superstorm Sandy And The Road Ahead
I'm currently in my home in suburban Melbourne, Australia. I have not yet had the good fortune to travel to the USA, let alone New York city. Actually the USA has long been on my bucket list of countries that I'd love to travel around and photograph. The monumental landscapes of the southwest, the spectacular Californian coast and redwood forests, the space and the long drive through the Midwest, the sheer beauty and diversity of the countries national parks, the glitz of Vegas and the excitement of New York have long beckoned. And then there's all manner of National Parks including Zion, Yosemite and, of course, Jellystone.
The Road Ahead
The above photo was not made in the USA. Rather it's from Austria and is, in fact, a small part of the largest underwater lake in Europe. Situated underneath a former Gypsum mine, inside a mountain near the town of Hinterbruhl, the lake was formed when the ceiling above collapsed flooding the cavern with 20 million liters of water. Incidentally, during World War II the German's used the site to build the world's first jet fighter, the Heinkel He 162. What's more the lake features in the 1993 Hollywood film, The Three Musketeers, staring Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland and Chris O'Donnell
Victims Today, Victorious Tomorrow
The reason for including this photo is not so much for the story above, but rather as a metaphor for the struggle that folks in the USA and parts of the Caribbean must now be facing. In the months and years ahead there will, I'm sure, be many times when the end of your struggles will seem in reach only to find the way forward blocked. But there's a lot to be said about the human spirit and the people of New York are said to be particularly resilient folk.
America, The World Still Needs You
To our friends in the USA I want to say that its likely you'll have to face one battle after another over coming years. But, eventually, you'll walk out into the sun renewed and reborn. Steel is forged in fire.
It's long been my view that the world needs a strong, vibrant and engaged America. The next year or so may see you having, by necessity, to withdraw somewhat and attend to the needs of your own. (Some would say that time is overdue). I look forward to the day when you'll re-emerge confident and kind, with a more progressive world view. It's not unreasonable that to be able to heal the world, you first have to heal yourself.
Until then please remember that you are in the thoughts and prayers of your friends throughout the world. You will rise again, and you will be stronger for the experience. I'm sure such tragedy must put the simple joys of life into perspective and give real meaning to the notion of living each day as though it were your last.
How Can the Rest of Us Help
Finally, to help with the regions economic recovery, I would urge as many folks that are able to to consider a holiday to the Easter Coast of the USA. That is, of course, once the local authorities declare that part of the world open for business again. Tourism is a great way to spread the money around. It directly supports major infrastructure projects and jobs in transport, hotels, restaurants, theme parks, etc.
In the meantime I encourage charities and government in my own country to provide as much help and assistance, as quickly as possible, to our friends and allies in the USA. And, of course, we cannot forget the ongoing plight of the people of Haiti.
From my point of view I'm now desperate to get to the USA and, when I can, I'II be sure to make New York a major part of my visit. Maybe you can to.
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Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru