bcholmes: (haiti)

HAITI-MARCH 28, 2010

The medical team took the opportunity to work in another camp located about a mile from Matthew 25 on an open piece of land. The camp area looks to be many acres in size, but it was filled with tents so there was no space prespective from which to judge.

The land had been owned by the dictator Duvalier who had it laid out as a planned village, and had put in roads with curbs, but nothing else before he was deposed in 1986. No one with whom we spoke knew who has controlled this acreage, but there has been nothing built on it in all of this time.

The French Red Cross has gained control of it for the time being anyway, and it looks like it will be for quite a long time. They are building schools with two by four frames, and metal roofs. It was in one of these school frames that the medical clinic was set up using tarps for walls and ceiling

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I think that Pat and Vivian were due to end their three-year trip to Haiti at the end of March, so I don't know how many more of these updates I'm gonna see.

bcholmes: (haiti)

March 19, 2010

Every day emotions rise and fall. In the morning the activity in the house resembles a busy family, albiet a very large busy family. Breakfast is placed buffet style on the counter, and those ready to eat gather around the table for a short grace. A few take advantage of an empty bathroom. Others mix milk for the camp children. There always seems to be someone packing up to go somewhere: back home, to the countryside, to a mobile clinic, or the clinic nextdoor. The Haitian EMT, medical student, and pharmacist arrive. Cell phones ring, plans are made, dishes are washed. There is always some laughter, and teasing, quiet conversation, and continuing knocks on the bathroom doors. The morning mood of the house is usually upbeat, as the day begins.

The other day a woman in the camp went into labor. Everything was going along fine, and there was time to get her to the local hospital where she gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Mom and son returned to camp on Wednesday, and much fuss was made over this little one.

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bcholmes: (haiti)

Latest dispatches from Matthew 25 House:

THE CARPET BAGGERS ARE BUSY
MARCH 8, 2010

While studying about the American Civil War in elementary school I remember learning the term " Carpetbagger ", those people from the North who traveled to the South to make a profit from the devastation left by the war . Carrying their belongings in a satchel made from carpet material, they were given dubious title of "Carpetbaggers"

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bcholmes: (haiti)

March 4th

Each day’s story weaves contrasting threads, every one of them strong enough to grip one’s attention : horror, joy, sadness, laughter, hope, anger, despair, resilience, frustration. They stretch and tug against one another somehow creating a strong, whole 24 hour little piece of the fabric of what this country is. What follows are several story threads from just one day’s stories from just one place.

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bcholmes: (haiti)

Latest postings from Matthew 25:

The top of Matthew 25 is being demolished. Sledge hammers bang away, and concrete dust flies everywhere. Downtown Port-au-Prince is the same. Damaged buildings are being torn down, and a dust cloud is added to the exhaust fumes. Roads are blocked with heavy equipment. There is too much of this activity to make it possible to route out detours, so drivers are on their own seeking alternate routes. The other day (luckily on the way back from the General Hospital) we turned off one blocked road, drove up about a block, and around a curve, and found we were blocked from the other direction.

We’ve seen during the past two weeks, that the permanent tent camps are being set up, and people have moved into them many of them. They are discernable from others because the tents are all alike.

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bcholmes: (haiti)

Dispatches from Matthew 25 House

FARM FAMILIES NOT HIT BY THE EARTHQUAKE ARE STILL AFFECTED

In Haiti, community organizers are known as “animators”, natural leaders who know how to stimulate and encourage others toward a common goal. They are rarely paid for their work, but are simply active members of their own communities. For the past several weeks a group of animators has been trying to assess the changes in the life of farm families in various communes, in different regions of Haiti, in hopes that the effort will result in farmers receiving earthquake relief assistance.

The animators meet at Matthew 25 house every day prior to going out to the countryside. Three Americans, Monica, Eric, and Mark, who have taken on the responsibility of entering the collected data, are also at the house. All of these people are part of the *Haiti Response Coalition* I’ve mentioned numerous times in other posts. Lilica, a woman from Greece, handles logistics for the group. The animators are also the people who have pointed out the locations where mobile clinics were most needed.

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BC Holmes

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