Tuesday, September 23, 2008

No Celebrity Endorsements, No Aid Flowing in Sen Rafayel, Cap-Haitien Haiti

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Hello Everyone,

There are times when I am at a loss for words. That doesn't happen often but lately, I have fewer words and many more moments of reflection. Wrackspurts, as J.K Rowling's character Luna Lovegood calls them in the Harry Potter series.

With the exception of last Thursday, we have had rain every night since Monday, September 15. The rain has added to the misery and danger in many places, including Sen Rafayel. [Ed. note: See this page on Hurricane Center for current storm activity.]

Dieumane's mom died yesterday morning in Sen Rafayel. She was 43. Her house was flooded when TS Hanna went through and she had been sleeping in a ditch ever since . She became ill last week, probably a combination of malnutrition, typhoid, pneumonia -- you name it.

Dieumane's dad was drowned in the river 2 years ago during a storm. The victim list continues to grow here. Many of our kids are still unaccounted for. News from Haitian radio this am brings word of more flooding last Wednesday as a result of the daily rains.

The village of Dondon is just south of Sen Rafayel. It experienced flooding, loss of gardens, animal, houses, people as well. San Michel above Sen Rafayel was all but wiped out. Sen Rafayel sits mired in debris, illness, hunger, and renewed flooding. And still no support.

A friend of mine said in an email last week, "Hope the aid is flowing and things are returning to normal."


I can only shout the message with capital letters and hope that awareness emerges. The only aid in Haiti is in the places that make the news, either by celebrity endorsement or misery caught on video.

Still no electricity or gas, ice
One tanker of gas arrived at our gas station in Champin on Sunday. The rest of the city was shut down. Vehicles were lined 3 abreast and police as well as private security were on duty. By Monday morning, every drop was gone. No ice anywhere. Apparently there is no gas for the delivery vehicle.

While we can do without ice and refrigeration, we cannot do without potable water. Let's hope that is not the next victim of this crise. Many stores are closed completely. Cost of a school uniform is doubled now as material is scarce, marchands unable to replenish stocks so doubling prices.

We will supplement for the kids who are coming in this week with results for State exams for 9eme. We are sending more to the clinics daily as hunger and illness grows but the Clinics are unable to perform many tests as generators are gas driven.

Cap-Haitien, Sen Rafayel roads to Port-au-Prince closed

We are completely cut off from the south now. The secondary route through Sen Rafayel and Hinche was extremely dangerous but people tried to navigate it. Another died trying yesterday so the route has been closed.

We have kids stuck in Port-au-Prince with insufficient funds, and we have kids stuck in Sen Rafayel who want to start university but they cannot get to Port-au-Prince.

The cost of a gode of uncooked rice (one cup) is now 40 gds ($1.00 US) up from 11 gds about a year ago. The same amount of charcoal for cooking it is roughly the same price, for a total of $2. US to buy and cook a cup of plain rice -- without oil, beans, spices, water, matches, cooking pot. [see convert USD to HTG info]

We will get through this. My mother always says that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. She was talking about her many cancer surgeries and treatments. She is one tough lady. But I digress.

Keep us in your thoughts . . .


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sharon, thank you for the update. It is shocking to me how such a difficult situation can become so much worse, and continues to deteriorate. The cost of food and fuel is unacceptable, along with so many other things that need addressing. I do not understand how the Haiti government works and realize I am quite naive at this point, but I will do some reading, because all I can think of is "where are the leaders? why isn't the government helping to take care of its people?".

Things seem especially difficult for you and your foundation right now, and I know words can't really help. Just remember that every little thing you do matters infinitely to those you assist and that there are like-minded people keeping you all in our thoughts and doing our own little things to help.

Maureen in Olympia, WA USA


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