Sunday, February 28, 2010

On the Road - My First Post


Photos: Top - Terrain Acra, settlement of 7500+ people. There is garbage everywhere. In the middle of the photo is a mass of garbage we drive over everyday in order to get to our clinic tents (blue tarps on the right). Bottom: Terrain Acra from the hill above it.

The traffic in Port-au-Prince is not second to what I used to be familiar with: Rome.The only difference is that rush hour here seems never ending: it is at any given time between the moment I get into the car in the morning to go to the camp and the moment I get out of the car at the end of the day.

That is why I started traveling with my laptop and get all the typing that I need to during the hours I spend in traffic.
So, you can picture me writing most of my posts stuck in Port-au-Prince traffic. :)

It's almost 7 pm, the sky turned black, the sun hasn’t been around much today and the wind is building up: it's going to be a night of intense rain.

Work in progress: It has been now exactly three weeks since I have requested machinery to clean up the Terrain Acra site. It is filled with years and years of rubbish dumped on this land that is now hosting a community of about 7,500 people - ten times bigger than the village I live in back home but concentrated in an infinitively smaller surface.

I am expecting a call tomorrow morning, and I hope I won’t be disappointed again. The vaccination campaign at Terrain Acra, run by the International Federation of the Red Cross, continued for the second day in a row, with people of all ages going around holding on to their arms in the point where the injection happened. I should have asked the kids to pose for me, in line, showing me their arms.

I am sure there will be more tomorrow.

Most exciting news of the day: A new NGO is planning on starting activities at our site, they will offer psychological support and emergency nutrition awareness for children under 1 year old and their mothers. They will employ people in this community and may at a later date reach out to mothers outside the camp boundaries.

The rain has started. So true that when it rains, it pours! It won’t be an easy day at the camp tomorrow, nor an easy night for the people who live there.

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