After picking up some items at the local supermarket in Limoux, I sat down at a cafe in the Place de la Republicque for a Perrier and a Blanquette and to read my latest Cathar/Languedoc book. I was there about 30 minutes when suddenly this massive wind squall descended on us, turning over umbrellas and tables, shattering dishes and glasses, some folks screaming–the scene turned chaotic in moments. I wanted to take some photos, but my phone was put away and I needed to find shelter. Walking back to my studio I could barely stay upright…intense wind…no lights…lightening…and right as I opened the main door to my place, the rain started. It was frightening. I found this report online.
[Image d’illustration) © Radio France – Cathy Vaxelaire]
by Manon Klein
France Bleu Occitanie
‘De violents orages frappent une bonne partie de l’ex région Midi-Pyrénées ce lundi soir. Une rafale de vent à 103 km/h a été enregistrée en Ariège.
Here’s a translation I put together:
“The sky thunders in the former Midi-Pyrénées region. Five departments are on orange alert to thunderstorms this Monday evening. At 8:30 p.m., strong gusts of wind were already recorded; 103 km/h measured by the station of Saint-Girons, in Ariège. Gusts of wind, rain, lightning and outbreaks of fire: strong storms hit the former Midi-Pyrénées region. North of Toulouse, in Labastide-Saint-Sernin, a fire in a field spread to a house under the effect of the wind. Firefighters are still on site at 8:30 p.m. They managed to stop the progression of the fire which threatened two neighboring houses.”
I had lamps turned over in my place, windows slammed closed, papers scattered, some books soggy, and I think the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard…constant lightening. Then I heard the emergency responses. That was w i l d. No warnings or sirens. Quiet now.
I heard a re-cap about Bikes for Uvalde this evening. For those following the ‘Dayle in Limoux’ daily posts, you may remember I wrote about the fundraiser Lance Armstrong and his WEDU/The Move team put together during the Tour de France to purchase bikes for all the elementary school kids in Uvalde, Texas who witnessed and survived the horrific and tragic mass shooting at their school. The team raised over $250,000 from listeners/viewers to purchase bikes, helmets, and locks to give to the students. They distributed them this past Saturday in Uvalde. The kids and parents/families are so happy. Some of the families shared with the WEDU team that some of kids haven’t really spoken much at home since that awful day. On Saturday after they received their new bikes, they were smiling, laughing, and talking. They also shared how being a small community, people are seeing kids out and about and riding all over town after receiving their new bikes.
From radio station KURV News Talk Radio:
Around 800 kids in Uvalde received a free bike Saturday thanks in large part to the generosity of Texans. Around 270-thousand dollars was raised through efforts of the cycling community, as well as Lance Armstrong and Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop.
The goal was to give each elementary student a bicycle before the start of the school year to bring them a “sense of normalcy, freedom and fun.” Volunteers spent two weeks unboxing and building the bikes in Austin before they were shipped out to Uvalde.
From News 4 San Antonio:
Operation Get Out handed out bikes and helmets to the Uvalde Community earlier Saturday morning.
The organization funded over 800 bikes, helmets, and other gear for the kids in Uvalde at Winter Garden Produce.
“Operation Get Out is a non-profit organization out of Austin, Texas that provides equipment, resources, and events for individuals and agencies who have gone through trauma, stress, loss, or grief. We provide the equipment so they can get out on nature and water! Two months ago, we were planning and said what about Uvalde? Would they embrace it? Would they need it? A bike is a great tool to Get Out, Get Active, and Get Connected for positive mental and emotional wellness impact.” said Cindy Present.
Former Tour De France Champion, Lance Armstrong, also attended the bike giveaway. Armstrong teamed up with Operation Get Out to transport the bikes and gear to Uvalde, in honor of the lives lost at the Robb Elementary School shooting.
I screen grabbed some shots from Lance and the WEDU team when they were re-capping the Vuelta today. Big smiles and happy families. How wonderful to witness. Lance was getting a little emotional talking about it, in awe of the kids and their families…the community.
School starts again for the kids on September 6th, and according to some reports, many do not want to go back to school because they do not feel safe; many still traumatized and will be for a very, very long time. The bikes are a needed, and most likely necessary gift of freedom and encouragement. Deep collective gratitude to the team at WEDU and all the people who donated during the Tour.
Look what we can accomplish together, for each other, through kindness and compassion and service! ℒℴve. ☆҉
Reminds me of this Heineken ad being passed around again on socials called ‘Worlds Apart.’ It’s emerged after Robb Willer, sociology/psychology/organizational behavior professor at Stanford, posted a paper on strengthening democracy and reducing partisan animosity and anti-democratic behavior. He writes they tested 25 interventions to reduce these attitudes. “23 interventions reduced partisan animosity, often sizably, across survey and behavioral indicators. […] Overall, our results provide a toolkit of promising interventions for practitioners and shed new theoretical light on challenges facing American democracy.”
The video received 13 million views in the first month. The premise was, “We know we’re never going to agree on everything but there will also be common ground.”
From a posted comment on the Stanford study:
“The Heineken experiment is basically an argument for some kind of mandatory national service–its ‘ice break’ and ‘bridge building’ tasks show the power of doing something together as a foundation for connection, conversation, understanding.”
Jon Stewart is promoting this, too.
“There should be a draft where every young person has to do one year of something–military, public works–something so that we all feel invested in the same game, because that’s the part that we’ve lost.”
Found one more photo on my phone from Barcelona. This one’s for my dad.
Bonne nuit. Go share a cerveza. :)