A Trip Never to be Forgotten - My Family Travels

Lessons learned, a trip that I will remember for a lifetime, experiencing history, and being with some of the most important people in my life. Getting on a plane by myself at 16 is scary enough; but having my flight attendant tell me that I may not be able to land at my final destination is even scarier, where I would be stuck in the middle, several hundred miles from home and several hundred miles from my destination, Minot, North Dakota. I was going to see my sister, brother-in-law, and nephews. Every summer since 2009, I have flown to Minot to see my sister who is stationed there in the Air Force, but this time was different.  

I was well aware of the fact that Minot had been flooded only a couple days before my arrival; however, I did not realize that in a short amount of time, I would be witnessing a natural disaster that would be marked down in history books to come. It was a life changing experience for me. I kept texting home to my mom telling her what was happening. One of my text messages read, “Now we cannot use water, it was contaminated and not safe. They have shut off the water to base and we are only running on the water tower. That should last us only a day or two.” She replied to my text, “Think about all the people that have lost their homes and now have nothing.” This was very true, I did not realize how important the little things are in life.

Everyone takes advantage of the shower they take everyday, the water they drink, the washer and the dishwasher they use. We were not allowed to take showers but only every few days, and when those days came our mouth and eyes had to stay shut tightly, and we had to use hand sanitizer all over our hands when we got out. We could not drink the water, only bottled water which was being rationed out two cases per person. We had no clean clothes or dishes because the water did not reach high enough temperatures to get rid of the pollutants.

On my way to the airport when I was returning home, I saw many things that made me smile. The local grocery store that you were no longer able to get to anymore, set up a tent in a parking lot handing out food. In another parking lot was another tent, they were handing out free cases of water. When people come together, they can make a difference in everyone’s life. Everyone making a little difference resulted in no one getting hurt or injured in the floods and houses being saved because people, like my sister, were there for hours filling sand bags.

This trip was my last trip to Minot, as they are being stationed overseas next. I will never forget my experiences during this six day trip... the Minot floods of 2011.

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