Friday, January 15, 2010

Devastation in Haiti

Tuesday, January 11th, an earthquake, 7, on the Richter scale, devastated Haiti. It seems that the capital, Port Au Prince, has been leveled. There are bodies, dead and alive, on the streets, and it's almost impossible for people, living outside the area to get through to their loved ones. Two friends and co-workers, at the Lowe, haven't been able to get in touch with their families; don't know if they are dead, injured or alive. It really puts things into perspective, for me, for my children, what is important?! My daughter, Sophie, went to Haiti, in November, with doctors from Project Medishare. She came back and shared her photos and stories of families, with their young children, waiting in make-shift hospitals, sometimes for days, to take advantage of the free health care. Children with Hydrocephalus, swollen heads and glassy eyes, lay on their mother's laps, in anticipation of a new life. Sophie explained that the 'hospital'; building with bare-minimum staff and supplies, smelled and the ambulences were all out of comission, with flat-tires and no gas. And that was BEFORE this earthquake. It's so sad. If there's anything good that will come out of this it's that the infrastructure of this country (poorest in the western hemisphere) may be re-evaluated. Maybe just maybe they'll build better buildings???!!! And maybe just maybe the government will get its act together. Although they've implemented horrible, self-serving, dictators for years now.

It's close to home. Hopefully, we people stateside will take a lesson from all of this. I know I am having a conversation, at our dinner table, every night about it.


Sally said...

And the situation just keeps getting more desperate...

Your friendly, neighborhood Blog guru said...

Unbelievable what Haitians have been through. Baby Doc Duvalier, Aristide... horrible, corrupt people in power there. No building codes so places were erected with whatever was cheap and available: concrete. A typical Haitian has little money or possessions... in a way, because this is what they are used to in life, they are probably best suited to survive in such dire conditions. Americans would simply give up... being used to luxuries like clothing, food, water, medical care, shelter...imagine you broke your leg in Haiti and you need medical care. Someone managed to find a fence post to use as a splint for your leg... and you would be considered one of the lucky ones who received treatment.
Still, they have tremendous pride in their country and in themselves... for being the first black republic in the west, for fighting against slavery, for being independent. It's hard for me to imagine how they will overcome the devastation and destruction from this week's quake, but these are tough people who have been through a lot. I hope they can keep their strength going.