Saturday, September 6, 2008

No Gas, Shops Closed, Post TS Hanna Cap-Haitien Haiti Update from Sharon


Very little juice in batteries. Will try to track down missing luggage again today. No luck yesterday.

Went to town with Jackson for food and ice. He rose at 3 a.m. to arrive at the gas station at 4 a.m. to wait for his 3 gallons of gas. He was very tired.

We passed 2 stations with lines which had no end as well as hundreds gathered around the pumps with containers. Police were out in full force trying to keep everything calm.

Two other stations had no gas. Soon the reserve will be gone then we walk, I guess. Many businesses still closed. Yesterday was like Sunday from that perspective.

Out of the 25 kids who showed up yesterday, five lost everything in the flooding including new uniforms for the school year.

We pay inskri to hold a place, then we repair text books and prepare and distribute backpacks. At the same time we distribute funds for uniforms.

The last thing we pay is the frais scolaire, first trimests and any other fees the school might request ie student identification badge, September entry fee, infomatique (computers), mayo (school Tshirt), activity card etc.

In addition to the 25 students, one mom came yesterday. Alex and Laura (see this post) will remember Mme Philippe as they videotaped the home visits. She was the one sitting on the floor with the baby.

She had been injured and unattended. Had a scar from outside left knee to hip, broken bones not set. She came here in a nightgown (clean) using a very stout piece of wood for a cane. She probably weighs about 60 lbs.

What little they had was washed away and she was very sick with a fever and congestion. We provided food, meds, money for kamyonet and said we would also take on her son.

Her daughter, Guilene is one of ours. She lost uniform, shoes etc. Mom had scrimped to pay for son to attend lycee but his books and uniform were swept away. We will replace them and pick him up as well.

Yesterday we decided to take the rent money and purchase rice, beans, oil to do a one time emergence distribution. We are unable to restart our full food distribution program.

The kids are coming today even though we are closed. School opening has been delayed providing some breathing space for staff.

Joceline offered to help make sandwiches as everyone was busy. She started to make them one at a time. Having grown up with a mother who made sandwiches in quantity for any and all occasions, I showed her how to do a loaf at a time.

As she was leaving, she shyly asked if she could help Carmene in the kitchen as she would like to learn how to cook. First she learns to read and write, next a chef. It was really endearing.

I 'm in tears for just about any reason or no reason. This is just so overwhelming at times. However, staff and kids provide perspective. I 'm just tired.

Without the white noise of electricity, every sound is magnified in the night and sleep is elusive. Have decided to add security on the weekends starting tonight until I leave as desperation and robberies are climbing.

We are so behind now we can only go forward.

Thanks to Mme Cindy in Penn. for the running shoes on my list.
See also Hurricane Ike Map - will be passing north shore Haiti today and overnight.

See also previous post about TS Hanna Damage in Haiti



Karen said...

This just in from Sharon:

Signal comes and goes so quickly - cloud cover so no chance to recharge solar batteries.

Light winds. The mosquitoes have already started.

Petit-Anse and Fosenmichel are still half filled with water - there is just no place for it to go.

Malarial playground. Jackson told me yesterday of a piece of land a few miles from us where more than 300 families had squatted.

The owner came in last week with a judge and grader and levelled all of the ti kay yo they had built.

They had no place to go so stayed in the ruins through the storm.

Apparently they all disappeared (were killed?)

When I asked Jackson how he knew he said he had seen the grader at work and it was "bouch -la" (word of mouth) which informed of storm devastation.

Word of 'bouch' tends to be very fast and very accurate here.
Toronto paper reports 495 dead in Gonaive.

Anonymous said...


I hope the Lord continues to protect you and guide you during this time. Our prayers and thoughts will be with you and your extended family in haiti (the students). Hold on, for God is definitely using you in a magnificent way, and I ask him to protect you during this very hostile time! In Jesus name we pray and believe, let it be so!


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