I left early in the morning from the new house. I took a day pack with a couple bottles of water an a apple. Before I left I did my stretching exercises. I had spent a lot of time studying the martial arts at one point but I had been slacking off for awhile now. Awhile, much to my surprise, when I thought about it was over two years. I was also putting on weight. Something I had been trying to deny was happening. As I stretched I realized I didn't feel any pre-mission emotions. Probably because there was no danger involved. It was literally going to be a hot, sweaty walk in the park. The only thing that it had in common with an actual "Op" was the heat and the people. Both of which met third world standards. Also in the back of mind was the womens shelter. It was in the same area so I planned if time permitted to take a look at it. I had brought a pair of binoculars just in case I needed to observe the area.
I forgot how much walking sucked. I was going to have to look into getting a bike. At this rate I would never get anywhere. We would need to get a few old bikes for the house. Just to have around for those who didn't have cars or couldn't afford to drive them much. Gas prices were absurd now. One month they would shoot up and then would drop 30% the next month. I had never thought of it before but it occurred to me that must make it a bitch to plan and budget a paycheck. I mentally shrugged and thought "Not my problem."
The neighborhood had gone down hill more than I had expected in the span of a year. We had driven it a bit when we looked at the place. There was a big difference in driving past and walking past a house. You had time to see the aluminum siding that was coming loose. The window that was broken. The house with a mowed front yard and a jungle for a back yard. There were plenty of people living there. A surprising number of houses had windows open in this heat. They weren't empty ones either. I could hear the television or music playing as I passed them. Once I heard a dog barking. from the sound of his Woof! Woof! he must have been the size of a small pony.
My first stop was going to be an office campus that was about two miles from the house. I had cruised it once in my car and was surprised at how many people actually lived in their cars. The number had to have doubled in the last six months at least. My guess was the proximity to the shelter helped. The men would keep the car and stay close while the woman and kids could stay in the shelter and be able to eat and shower. While I walked I tried to come up with what I was going to say. Nothing I could think of sounded right let alone convincing. If I didn't buy it I knew they wouldn't. So I decided to wing it. I told my self "No pressure. It works or it doesn't." It wasn't like I had no other choices.