Haiti: When Will the Shaking Stop? - Page 2
A volunteer nurse from Southern CA shared a disturbing story. Two separate girls were admitted to the hospital for overdosing on rat poison and Drano. Both couldn’t stand living under the current conditions. Can you even call it “living”? Barely scraping the bottom of the pot for a spoonful of rice and bean remnants is more like it. We witnessed that scene at another camp just 50 feet from the beautiful blue Caribbean.
What good is a million dollar view when you’re starving? The day we visited there was only enough food for the kids. “Enough” is very relative to your longitude and latitude. Ten kids were pushing and shoving their way into the “kitchen” to jam their fingers into a big steel pot to scrape off the last grains of rice. I’m not sure if it was enough, but they made do without complaint. Five minutes later, they were laughing and playing again. In this situation, the blissful ignorance of a child is a beautiful thing.
What we DIDN’T see was more disheartening. The roar of earth-moving vehicles, dump trucks, jackhammers and cranes was almost absent from the rubble-filled landscape. Occasionally we’d spot a crew of 15-20 with hand shovels. Hand shovels. That’s like using silly straws to skim off the oil in the Gulf. Most feel the Haitian government‘s response has been anemic at best, criminal at worst.
The cry from every Haitian we spoke to was the same, “America, don’t forget about us. We’re still hurting.” Some say the situation now is more desperate than right after the quake. Post-disaster shock is turning into anger. Anti-government graffiti is emerging. People are demanding accountability from their "leaders." Distrust is on the lips of everyone we met.
Thankfully, caring boots are on the ground providing comfort and support. Foreign NGOs are doing great work. Volunteers continue to pour in to lend hand and heart to the massive relief effort. I believe this is the only way to make a certifiable difference. Of course it’s not realistic for most to make the trek, just do your due diligence before donating any sums of money. Some charities are just as shady as the Haitian government.Continued on the next page