Friday, January 15, 2010

It's impossible not to write about Haiti . . .

As a human being, it is my responsibility to do what I can to help the people of Haiti; just as it is yours. You and I may not be able to do much, but we can do something. The little girl in the photograph below may have survived, but she's going to need medical attention, drinking water, shelter, working sanitation, clothing, and food. And help finding any family she has left.  
(Photo: Carol Guzy/Post)

To help us do what we can, Google has set up a crisis response center. It offers information about, and links to, reputable organizations who are in Haiti. I'm sure there are many other reputable organizations working in Haiti, and I would be grateful if anyone reading this blog who knows of one would post a link to them as a comment to this post.

A friend of mine sent me this account from Kim Dumback, a physician my friend knows who is working in Haiti. Solomon is a foster child Kim and her husband, Patrick, are caring for and trying to adopt.
We are safe.  The country is in ruin and chaos.  We lost so many friends.  Our work place was flattened with all my students inside.  I had just given them a class and told them "see you next week."  I pulled some of their bodies out of the rubble yesterday.  Yesterday morning there were still voices inside, but we all were having a hard time reaching them.  The one person we pulled out alive yesterday bled to death on the way to the hospital which is more like a place were people go to die because they can't even begin to treat the people lining up for help.

All my medicines, medical supplies, lab was buried under CONASPEH as the 6 floor building now is one huge rock pile.  I've never felt like such a worthless tool in all my life.  I had a car full of injured on Tuesday evening trying to get them to the hospital that wasn't even opening their doors because a wing had collapsed killing several of their doctors and they didn't have staff or resources ready to see the mobs coming to be treated.  So instead Patrick and I carried bleeding people back to their families so they wouldn't be alone.

It's a small miracle we are safe and alive... that the group that was visiting is safe and alive.  I'm not taking it lightly and despite being refugees trying to figure out where to sleep each night, where to get food for Solomon, and what to do next, we are counting each moment as an incredible blessing.

I'll write/blog more as I get caught up on e-mails and letting people know information as we get it.  A friend in the city has taken us under his wing (he as a family with small children as well) and showed us a hotel high in the mountains to stay for the next two nights.  Yesterday Patrick and I retrieved a few things from our apartment building, jumping at every groan as we did the stupid thing and REENTERED a building that had partially collapsed... but thanks to that, we hopefully will have e-mail for a few days and can stay in contact since the phone systems are either jammed or down completely.  The next day or so we'll try to get ourselves together and make a plan, find our bosses (who survived) and figure out where to go from here.  There is more need then ever, but the safety situation may get very tenuous the longer the masses go without food and shelter.  Everyone--no matter whether their house fell or not, is terrified to go inside.  The streets are packed with people just sitting... stunned.  Tent cities are going up in all areas that had some space.  Parks are filled, our work out center constructed a big tent in the soccer field for people to come stay.  The supermarkets all collapsed, so far the street markets haven't gotten going yet... so food will be the next big crisis.   I am hoping the water treatment centers didn't completely collapse and can start services soon.  Yesterday there was none.

Please pray for Haiti if you are so inclined.  We are ok, are safe and are taking things one day at a time.
Kim and Patrick have maintained a blog during their time at Haiti. It gives one a masterful, personal feel for life in their adopted country, both before and after the earthquake.

1 comment:

  1. Beth Steventon, a long-time WMRAer, sent me the following note: Since I'm hopeless with all things technological, I'm going to skip trying to link anything to your blog. Instead, I'll just tell you about an organization that's working hard in Haiti. It's called UMCOR (United Methodist Committe on Relief). They're always one of the first groups to respond to disasters and they stay around till the end. Their website is under UMCOR, so it's easy to find.