You probably remember that Hurricane Katrina was a terrible storm that forced a lot of people to move in August of 2005. Joseph Moya was one of them.
Joseph and his family were rescued by boat from their flooded neighborhood and now live in Ohio. For a while, they thought they might return to New Orleans to live again. It hasn't happened, and 2 years later their house there is still boarded up.
But Joseph, now 13, has good news to report: Ohio is starting to feel like home.
"I have all the stuff I need here. My computers, my friends, my family," Joseph said. "Just like I had in New Orleans."
The family moved to Ohio after a friend there offered to help them. In the days after the hurricane, the Moyas were evacuated from Louisiana by plane to Austin, Texas. From there, it was a long ride to Ohio. Once they arrived, they had to adjust to a whole new home, school, and climate. It gets a lot colder in Ohio than it ever does in New Orleans!
It wasn't always easy, but the family is doing well now, Joseph said. That family includes Joseph's mom and dad, his twin brother, John, an older brother, Victor, and an older sister, Francisca. Victor is attending community college and is about to get his driver's license. Francisca transferred from college in New Orleans and now attends a university in Ohio. When she graduates, she plans to attend medical school and become a doctor.
Joseph's mom says they hope to buy a new house in Ohio this year. But even though the family is setting down roots in Ohio, the Moyas still have ties to Louisiana. Joseph hasn't forgotten his best friend from New Orleans. Jourdan now lives in Laplace, Louisiana. That's a long way from Ohio, but he and Joseph keep in touch by talking on the phone, emailing, texting, and chatting online.
In Ohio, Joseph is about to enter eighth grade. In school, his favorite class is technology class, where he learned to do PowerPoint presentations last year. Today, he says he has more friends than he did in New Orleans. He especially likes spending time with his two best friends. They play online computer games, walk around, and spend a lot of time riding bikes. Joseph just got a new one.
"I go to the nearby park sometimes, and we just ride around the area," he said.
At times, Joseph still misses New Orleans, but not as much as he once did. He used to keep a blog that included lots of memories and thoughts about how things used to be.
"I'm starting to forget a bit," Joseph said. "I do miss it on Christmas, though."
Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: August 2007