Sunday, February 14, 2010

One Month Aniversary

Friday was the one month anniversary of the earthquake and the whole city was shut down. It was meant to be a day of prayer and silence, so we gave the Haitian staff and volunteers the day off. It was a sad day for me to think that a month after aid workers flooded the city, there is still so much to be done.

Most of the city still looks as it did a month ago. It makes me sick to think that anyone has to live in such a dirty environment. Many people are still living in public parks or on small pieces of land, with waste building up on the streets nearby. On the other hand, it is amazing to think that human beings can survive and even overcome in such dire situations.

While driving through downtown with Dr. Alerte, our newly arrived Haitian-American doctor, I saw the city through the eyes of a local witnessing the devastation for the first time. He was shocked as we went through the streets near the Palace. He reminisced about his old school, where he used to attend to church, and when he last visited the downtown post office — all completely flattened and destroyed.

It was humbling to hear him say, “Oh, my goodness. Oh, my goodness,” as we passed shops, houses, schools, banks, hotels, night clubs, and government buildings — all of which are now just rubble piled high in the streets.

We came upon a large group that was having a ceremony in front of the Palace, with lots of singing and praying. It made me feel very relieved and at peace, seeing all the women in white and people gathered around swaying to the music. It reminded me how resilient people can be and gave me hope that the Haitian people will somehow find their way.

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