Friday, September 5, 2008

Hanna Does Damage in Haiti - No Hydro, No Supplies, No Gas

Hello Everyone,

I arrived yesterday (Thursday) about 2 p.m. Cap-Haitien time after a somewhat turbulent trip. The descent was made from a different approach necessitating a very steep turn. One could see the devastation.

Petit Anse looked to be half submerged. We have 15 kids there. Fosenmichel [Ft. St. Michael] was as bad - we have another dozen kids there. People were just wandering through the long grass surrounding the airport, or sitting in small groups. How much more 'mize' (misery) can these people process?

Gas Lineups in Cap
Jackson [cab driver] met me with his taxi but my luggage didn't arrive. After a trip down to Lynx to be told to call tomorrow [Friday], we headed for home. As we passed a line-up about a kilometer in length at a gas station, Jackson told me he had waited 4 hours in the morning to get 2 gallons of gas to pick me up.

Bridges Out
As the bridge to the south at Gonaives was washed away (our bridge to Sen Rafayel has been out for 2 years), we are essentially cut off from the south, so no supplies, including gas, are getting here. Traffic was greatly reduced due to the gas shortage. Driving through the streets was a navigation test -- greatly enlarged pot holes, tree limbs and whole trees provided the obstacle course.

Storm Damage from Hanna
Our street (Impasse Soeurs Missionaires) was cut off by a huge tree which had been uprooted. It had fallen across the street and rested on the roof of the corner house. Jackson managed to brush underneath it and we arrived at the house.

Inside the compound looked like a war zone. Our garden area was covered with downed branches as the staff had been busy cleaning up. The largest tree on our lawn had the top removed. It landed on our hydro wires in to the house.

There is no electricity anywhere so we'll try to repair today. Our banana tree was uprooted as well, and most flowering shrubs are gone. The water which came into the house entered the office and soaked the backpacks we had just prepared for Sen Rafayel.

School Supplies Lost
Mold and mildew are already growing so we will have to burn most. Replacement cost will be enormous and the back packs we just cannot get here. Although we have not yet paid school fees due to shortage of funds, we did inskri (register) many so had sent the first load of backpacks (with text books, notebooks, pencils, pens, erasers, pencil sharpeners, hygiene products) last Wednesday with Claudy and Louisena.

Haven't heard an update from Sen Rafayel as it is difficult to charge batteries with no gas for the generators. I had Jack charge our solar batteries to half using the generator in order to check weather this morning. Gas is almost gone so next update may be some time coming, unless we have enough sun to charge from the solar panels.

Hurricane Ike Coming
We had overcast skies and rain last night. Can only hope Hurricane Ike takes a hike north. Will try to get to town today for supplies as the cupboard is bare. So much clean up to be done and we need to try to check on our kids in the hardest hit areas. With no gasoline we may have to wait for them to make their way to us. Housing has always been a challenge and this will compound the problem.

Will touch base when possible.

Be safe

P.S. Deb and Stan In USA : So good to hear from you. Your shining faces were missed on the shuttle yesterday to the airport. Glad you arrived home safely.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sharon ~ Wow!! Your description of Haiti makes me feel the enormous devastation and I so wish we had stayed to make the flight. You are one brave soul that is a lifeline to these precious, precious people. Thank you for all you do and I am most thankful our paths crossed. Our hearts and prayers are with you. Debi & Stan


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