Archive for July, 2010

July 16, 2010

Haiti at 6 months|Managing expectations by not naming them?

A tree is a rare sight at a camp and here, in Tabarre, residents use the shade for community meetings.

When I nearly fainted in the second camp we visited in Tabarre this Monday, some of the women leaders who live there brought me a Tampico juice right quick.  It was sweating, ice cold.  How do they get ice? And where do they keep it? Then I thought, GreatThey’re running to bring me juice while the 250 families that live here get by on 500 gallons of water a day. That’s the same amount of water in a luxe hotel’s fish tank.

Sitting on one of the wooden benches in a makeshift classroom, I sipped enough of the juice to get my sugar up and gave the rest to a little boy who’d been eying it.  Who can blame him.  Cloudless sky, big naked sun, scrub grass, one tree, cooking inside plastic tents: it’s white hot out here for Haitians everyday.

Boys lounge on a dusty cement floor at another Tabarre camp of wooden homes, not tents, run by Saint Vincent de Paul

Why should the foreigner get camp juice?

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July 11, 2010

With the IHRC, diaspora money doesn’t talk


Annually, Haitians abroad remit more than twice the amount pledged by the seven countries sitting on the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC)–yet these seven can vote; the diaspora representative can not.

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July 9, 2010

DH Editor’s Update|After two weeks in Pótoprens

An inevitable traveler’s illness sidelined me for the past few days so I’m posting snapshots of some of what I’ve seen, heard and thought about over the last two weeks.

Helping Haiti is over-rated “Are you going down there to help?” — Back home, that’s the main and often, very excited, response I received when I said I was going to Haiti.  And I’d think, Why would I do that? What on earth could I do that Haitians can’t? But I’d reply, “No, I’m going to report.”  Then I’d change the conversation because, how to explain that I’m more interested in covering whether and how Americans (including Haitian-Americans) are helping Haiti to develop, less so, which Haitian lived a particularly miserable life this week.

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July 2, 2010

DH Editor’s Update|The children of Cité Soleil

A day after arriving in Haiti I went to Cité Soleil, a shanty city that is, by many accounts, the worse slum in the western hemisphere.  I hadn’t planned on going but my roommate volunteers with the Haitian-run Sunday Project and the organizers made room for me in their car.

In the distance a small dark child, all limbs, jumps up and down, pointing.  Another joins him, and another and another—all jumping and pointing at our approaching caravan and scampering over each other like kid goats.  Some break formation and run back to the dull gray and rusted metal shacks. I thought they were going to bring other children.  Turns out, they ran to be first on the bread line.

Children in Cité Soleil line themselves up for a meal, not school

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