Not that I have a terrible amount of readers (probably two at most), but as most of you know, I have done work in Haiti, and I have connections and friendships there. The past 3 days have been such a whirlwind for all of us. Not knowing if those of our friends are OK, not knowing how the village of Mizak is. Word has it that Lee (the missionary)’s cement house is destroyed, but Paul’s house is OK. I believe that Medjina, Amable, Doris, and Joanna are all OK, as well, and Ulrick has been located! He is safe, with only minor injuries. I hope that his family is OK, as well. John Wesley still hasn’t been accounted for, but I have faith that he will be OK. At least I hope that he is OK

I just feel so helpless. I know that I can’t contribute anything but money at this time; I don’t know enough Kreyol, and I am not a doctor. They don’t have enough room/water/food to keep unnecessary people in the country. However, I really want to go down to Mizak and do something. I would only be doing that for me, though. I know that I can’t really contribute at this moment. When things get a little more stable, I could do something productive. For anyone wanting to know how they can be of service, money is the most important thing right now. They need clean water, temporary shelters, and food.

It really hurts, though, that it has taken a catastrophe for people to get involved/to care about Haiti. I really applaud the U.S.’s ability to step up and want to help this country, but it needed help before, and it will need help for years afterwards. Before the earthquake, it seems like the only knowledge that anyone had about the country was that it did voodoo. And not that anyone’s previous help could have prevented an earthquake, but it maybe could have done something about the country’s response to such a disaster. A country with no infrastructure, with concrete/dirt slums piled on top of one another, a history of drugs and violence, no trees, nothing. And I’m not necessarily saying that everyone needs to go to Haiti, throw money at the country, or anything. I just wish that some people would have been aware.

I think that I am going to organize some sort of fundraiser for Haiti. I have a few Haiti things that could be auctioned off (I have a cup, a soapstone figurine, a purse, and a few other tokens). I don’t know if they would really garner a profit. But I really want to get involved, and I really NEED to do something here on the ground, in the U.S., even if it to give people more information about the country. Here are recommendations for background for the country (previous to the earthquake):

1. Mountains beyond Mountains: The Quest of Paul Farmer, the Man who would Cure the World (by Tracy Kidder). Although this book primarily deals with Paul Farmer, and how he is an awesome individual, it also goes very in depth into the world of Haiti, and I highly recommend it.

2. Haiti in Focus: Just a solid background on the country, Papa Doc, Baby Doc, Aristide, etc.

3. Partners in Health: Not only is this Paul Farmer’s brainchild, but it is also a great organization to give to. Their motto is a preferential option for the poor, and I couldn’t agree with it more.

4. HAPI : This is an co-op based out of Mizak, where the lovely ladies embroider cards and the kids take photos in order to make money. I suggest going to this website, just because you can see some faces, some names, and some personal stories. I have tested everyone’s eyes at this clinic, and they are all great people! You can also give money here, although I don’t know if they are taking straight up relief donations. Mizak was not hit as hard as PAP.

5. The Haitian Revolution: The real story of the Haitian revolution, not the B.S. that Pat Robertson is spewing.

6. The Eroding Nation: Here is a really great piece about the environment of Haiti, and how the environment has contributed to some of the economic and social problems of the country. It’s interactive, so explore! (I hope that this link works).

Ok, I’m at work, and this computer is slow, and I’m getting frustrated.

Bon swa, me zanmi.