It’s rather odd to be out of the country when something major is happening in your home state. I was in Europe for two weeks and just got back this weekend. Hearing about Katrina through European media was much different than getting home and actually understanding how devastating it really was. Europe is more focused on apartment fires in Paris, EU-China textile trade wars, German elections, and avian flu, which put Katrina as page 5 news.
Most of my family is scattered around the South, and they’re all alright. I had some cousins who did lose their homes in southern Mississippi, but they were able to evacuate safely.
I seem to have a knack for missing major events, though. I was in Strasbourg and Prague during the 2000 presidential election fiasco, and in Toulouse during the Oklahoma City bombing. I was also in Strasbourg during the 2000 Olympics, which means I got to enjoy them through non-American television!