Haiti Update 1


I am writing from my mobile, so will keep this brief.

As I sit on the roof of the HODR compound, it is easy to find examples of disaster-induced misery or incredible human resiliency. We are surrounded by makeshift camps of tents (referred to as Internally Displaced Peoples – IDP camps). Nearly 100% of people are living in camps or temp shelters on their properties, because even the few remaining structures are not trusted by the residents.

In the IDP camps, you hear children laughing and playing, people singing, and see signs of routine life.

There is also a large soccer field immediately outside our walls and I am watching dozens of men and boys playing freely.

Today was the first day on the job sites and our primary role is to clear rubble down to the foundations, which make the families eligible to receive new semi-permanent housing which should protect them against the rains and storms that start in late spring. One German organization that plans to provide 1400 of these is building a prototype adjacent to the sites we were clearing today, so hopefully we will get to see these go up while I am still here.

The Haitian people seem very appreciative of the outside help but there is also a palpable sense of resignation. When you experience these conditions and consider that it will be many years before all this is cleared away, its easy to relate to that outlook. Many people will watch us clearing home sites (theirs and their neighbors) without offering to help and sometimes resisting our invitations.

At other times, as reflected in these pictures, many family members of all ages will join in and put in hours of labor alongside us, which is extremely fulfilling.

Dinner is being served, so I will sign off for now.

Cheers.

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