PDA

View Full Version : Haiti Earthquake Relief


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


AikiWeb System
01-13-2010, 10:44 PM
Posted 2010-01-13 22:43:47 by Jun Akiyama
News URL: http://www.aikiweb.com/haiti/

The small island nation of Haiti was struck by a massive magnitude 7.0 earthquake on Tuesday, January 12th, 2010. The International Red Cross has stated that as many as 3 million people have been affected by the quake with thousands, if not tens of thousands or hundred of thousands, of lives lost.

AikiWeb wishes to gather donations for those affected by the earthquake to send to the International Red Cross. Donations will be collected through January 31st, 2010 on this webpage (http://www.aikiweb.com/haiti/).

Please help out if you can. Every little bit helps. Thank you.


___________________
~~~ To submit a news item to AikiWeb's front page, click here (http://www.aikiweb.com/news/submit.html). ~~~

akiy
01-13-2010, 10:46 PM
Hi folks,

AikiWeb is putting in $100 towards the donation drive.

-- Jun

lbb
01-14-2010, 07:39 AM
I already ponied up $50 through Doctors Without Borders (https://donate.doctorswithoutborders.org/SSLPage.aspx?pid=197&hbc=1&source=ADR1001E1D01), a very effective organization that already had 800 staff members on the ground in Haiti when the earthquake struck. Otherwise I'd be kicking in to the Aikiweb Red Cross effort, another worthy organization with plenty of experience in providing aid in situations where the infrastructure has collapsed. I hope other Aikiweb members will give what they can to help our brothers and sisters in Haiti. In the end, we're all one family.

akiy
01-14-2010, 09:42 AM
Hi folks,

In less than 12 hours, we're now up to $230 having been collected for this donation drive!

Donating directly to organizations such as Doctors without Borders is also encouraged. NPR has a nice list of larger, established international aid organizations who are responding to the disaster at this URL:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122521163

Thanks, everyone, for your consideration to help in some manner.

-- Jun

Keith Larman
01-14-2010, 11:13 AM
Jun, we already donated through http://mercycorp.org . But thanks for leading the charge...

akiy
01-15-2010, 10:31 AM
Hi folks,

We've collected $700 so far in this Haiti Earthquake Donation Drive! Thank you to everyone who has donated through this website (with proceeds going to the International Red Cross) or through other means to help those people affected by the recent earthquake in Haiti.

The donation page on this site may be accessed here:
http://www.aikiweb.com/haiti/ (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/../haiti/)
Thank you for your donations and your consideration!

-- Jun

Ron Tisdale
01-15-2010, 10:40 AM
Hi Jun, thank you for providing this. Very simple and easy to use.

My thoughts and prayers are with those in need.

Best,
Ron

Marie Noelle Fequiere
01-15-2010, 04:32 PM
Oh boy, guys, what can I say?
Thank you. God bless you all.

akiy
01-15-2010, 11:03 PM
Hi Marie,

I just want to say that I hope you and everyone you know are safe and sound. Please let us know how things are there, if you get the chance.

My thoughts are with you and those in your area.

-- Jun

Marie Noelle Fequiere
01-16-2010, 02:42 PM
Thank you, Jun, and all of you. My family and I have really been blessed in this tragedy because we are all alive, with few injuries.
My sister and I lost our homes. My niece and her four year old son almost died. Jason has a big scratch under his left eye and is traumatized. We were lucky enough that friends living in the mountain, farther from the epicenter of the quake took us to their home. Their eight year old son plays with Jason. We can still feel the aftershocks, but we are in an area where no house was destroyed.
Everyday, we hear names of friends who died. The mother of two children training with us died when the bank where she was working collapsed. My Karate instcructor died the same way. My Aikido instructor and his family are safe, as are all the sempais. Sensei and I went to the dojo and found it undisturbed while other houses in the area were damaged. It's like the ground neve buged just there.
The few radio stations still working are receiving text messages from people still burried as I am writing this.
Bodies are decomposing in the street and under the rubbles.
Since the phones are still working in a rather erratic way, the internet is the most practical way of communicating even between us Haitians. We cannot believe the amount of sympathy and help pouring on us. In the name of every Haitian, let me thank the international community from the botom of my heart.
Again, God bless you all.

lbb
01-16-2010, 04:38 PM
Marie, please keep us posted, and let us know what you need.

Janet Rosen
01-16-2010, 09:04 PM
Thank you, Jun - Doctors Without Borders got Stu and my donation - Marie SO glad to hear from you; understandably you will have more immediate needs than updating us but please do so as you can.

Marie Noelle Fequiere
01-17-2010, 01:12 PM
Marie, please keep us posted, and let us know what you need.

Thank you, Marie, believe me, you are already doing your best. Besides that, well, we need prayers.

Marie Noelle Fequiere
01-17-2010, 01:46 PM
There were two Haitian-Americans in my life who were total nightmares. Thinking only of them, I almost stopped my mom from donating at another site. Then I remembered one of the best people in my life being a Haitian-American, and my mom made a moderate donation. It disturbs me that I would think of the ones who caused me pain and used voodoo techniques on me before thinking of one of the greatest men I have ever known, who shares with me a great mutual admiration, adoration, and respect. It would have made more sense to me to think of him first.

Drew

Drew, please, read this:

When the earthquake struck, I was still on my way home from work. My mother, who walks with such difficulty that she mostly uses a wheelchair, was at home with the nurse in charge of her. It was a miracle that none of them was hurt by falling furniture. The house is still standing, but so badly cracked that living there is out of the question. The fact that the land there is hilly doesn't help either. As soon as she could balance on her feet, the nurse rushed outside. Our neighbors wall had collapsed in our driveway, and walking there is still impossible. You have to walk along the edge of a canal that separates our house from our other neighbor. The nurse did that, and had every latitude to run for her own life. Instead of what, she ran to the nearby prime minister's house and pestered the security agents until one of them, a big burly men with a warm smile agreed to follow her. This man carried my mother on his back while the nurse followed with the heavy wheelchair. Once they reached the main gate, they were able to put my mom in the wheelchair and rushed her to the prime minister's wide front lawn, where hundreds of people who had fled their crumbling houses like us ended up gathering. Noticing that my mother was cold, the guy let her borrow his jacket before going to his own home and family. I found my mother and her nurse on this lawn and we camped for about two days before our friend, unable to reach us by phone, came looking for us and took us to his home.
My mother's nurse and this security agent both saved my mother's life.
Also, a neighbor told me that when the earthquake struck, the nanny in charge of his great niece put the child on the floor and laid herself on her to protect her.
Evil and greatness cohabit everywhere on the planet. All you have to do is watch the news.
Thank you for your donation, and trust me, plenty of Haitians deserve it.

akiy
01-17-2010, 07:23 PM
Hi folks,

I have moved the subdiscussion on Drew's experience with people from Haiti into another thread (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17544).

-- Jun

akiy
01-17-2010, 07:26 PM
Hi everyone,

Just a quick update to let you know that we've collected $1030 so far in this Haiti Earthquake Donation Drive.

I am happy to see the AikiWeb community come together to help those in very desperate need. Thank you!

The donation page on this site may be accessed here:http://www.aikiweb.com/haiti/ (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/../haiti/)
Thank you for your donations and your consideration!

-- Jun

Ron Tisdale
01-18-2010, 07:08 AM
Marie,

OSU

I am glad you and your family are ok....please give everyone there our best wises. I hope the the mobile hospitals get set up more quickly, and that you and your stay safe.

Best,
Ron

Thomas Campbell
01-18-2010, 12:45 PM
Jun,

Thanks for organizing these contributions. The day after the quake, I cancelled plans for a ski vacation and committed the equivalent amount of money to Haitian earthquake relief via another organization. But I did make a small gift via your link. It's great to see the total amount of contributions accumulating. Every little bit helps, now and in the future.

akiy
01-21-2010, 02:26 PM
Hi folks

Just a quick update to let you know that we've collected $1150 so far in this Haiti Earthquake Donation Drive.

I appreciate everyone's support for this donation drive and for other groups which are collecting and sending money to help those affected by the recent earthquake in Haiti. Thanks, too, for sharing the news about this donation drive with others on Facebook, Twitter, and other places.

The donation page on this site may be accessed here:http://www.aikiweb.com/haiti/ (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/../haiti/)
Thank you for your donations and your consideration!

-- Jun

Marie Noelle Fequiere
01-23-2010, 02:13 PM
Hi guys. I just wanted to keep in touch. I can see that donations keep coming, this is so comforting. We need everything we can find.
Last night, I learned that another person I knew had died during the quake. I did not react. I accepted. I have now reached the point where I am feeling guilty to be there, whole, sheltered by friends and not mourning a close parent. My family has been strangely spared during this tragedy.
Of course, my niece, who almost died with her little boy, had a panic attack a few days after her terrible experience. We were able to take her to a doctor who confirmed that her heart is ok. He gave her something to calm her down and encouraged her to talk about what she went through. Her little boy seems to be ok, he plays, sings and acts out as usual. Then, out of the blues, he will say: "The house is broken"". Then, he keeps playing. I e mailed a friend of mine who is a psychologist and who lives overseas. She gave me some advice about what to do.
Just about four years ago, our children were traumatized by a huge surge of criminality caracterized mostly by kidnappings. Now, this.
Most schools are a big pile of rubbles. Rich parents are taking their children overseas or to the Dominican Republic. What do the other parents do? What is the future of this generation?
Anyway, right now, we are struggling to pick up the pieces. A lot of members of my family live overseas, and they are helping. My sister will have a new house. My mother and I will stay at our friend's and pay a rent. We do not know for how long.
We are trying to start the family business again. When my grandfather built his building about eighty years ago, he decided to make it earthquake proof, just because he was an engineer and knew how to do it. People laughed at him. Well, today, in the middle of ravaged dowtown Port au Prince, our family buisnes's main building is standing tall and proud. My cousin, who was working late that day, had the most terrifying experience of his life, but when the big tremor stopped, he made it home whole and healthy. Thank you, Grandpa!
Of course, standing tall is not everything. Downtown Port au Prince is now a no men's land. Prisons collapsed, and the criminals are busy. The police, or more exactly, what's left of it, is overwhelmed.
Not to mention the rubbles still blocking the streets, and the stench of the dead still lying underneath.
As I am writing this, people are still alive under collapsed buildings.
Two dojo members are doctors. One of them is, guess who? Steeve! Remember him? Well, our doctors are basically homeless. Wich does not prevent them from spending their days tending to the wounded. The other doctor even sent his elderly father to live with family members overseas. He could have gone with his father. Instead of what, he sleeps on his front yard - when he gets the chance - and does his best to help others, including sharing with his neighbors the few clothes that Sensei brought him.
Millions of people are to this day homeless without any idea where they could go.
So this is the situation right now. Please, keep giving, we need everything.
God bless you all.
And oh, let's not forget the positive things. Supermarkets, pharmacys and gas stations are slowly reopenning their doors. Food, water and medicines are becoming available again, and we have gas for our cars and out stoves.

Shadowfax
01-24-2010, 06:25 AM
Thank you Jun for putting this together. I can't do much but am happy to help in my own small way.

Marie. {{hugs}}Thank you for letting us know how you are and what you are going through. I wish you and your family the best as you recover form this sad event.

akiy
01-24-2010, 09:58 AM
Hi folks

Just a quick update to let you know that we've collected $1170 so far in this Haiti Earthquake Donation Drive.

From what I have just read on the news, over 150,000 bodies have been recovered in the capitol of Port-au-Prince alone with at least 200,000 expected dead. This is an amazing tragedy of epic proportions.

My hope is that we reach $2000 by the end of this donation drive on Sunday, January 31st. Please help!
The donation page on this site may be accessed here:http://www.aikiweb.com/haiti/ (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/../haiti/)
Thank you for your donations and your consideration!

-- Jun

akiy
01-24-2010, 10:13 AM
Hi Marie,

Thank you for taking the time for giving us a first-person account of what is going on in Port-au-Prince. My thoughts are with you and everyone in your area during this time of chaos, and I hope that things become more stable soon.

Best,

-- Jun

Keith Larman
01-24-2010, 10:18 AM
Marie:

Thank you for sharing with us. I cannot imagine the difficulties you are facing. I must say it is also gratifying seeing so many people here coming together trying to help. Jun's work to raise funds is fantastic. My daughter's school has been canvassing the neighborhood, relatives, etc. collecting money, gently used shoes and clothing, etc. to send over (the school has extensive connections including a "sister" school via the Episcopalian Church in Haiti). It is really amazing how much a 9-year-old child can collect and it is encouraging to see how much people are willing to give.

We hope it gets to where it needs to go. And we hope that eventually Haiti will come back stronger and better. Lord knows a lucky break is long overdue Haiti.

lbb
01-25-2010, 09:31 AM
I wanted to add a link that may be useful for people who want to help, but may not have cash to give. One problem with non-cash donations in disasters is that there is often a lack of resources to transport and distribute them, but the Mennonite Central Committee (which has done a lot of this kind of thing) is collecting material in the form of relief kits, heavy comforters and flat sheets. Materials are being collected through February 28th, and the MCC has a plan in place for how to get them to Haiti. They are looking for new materials (or nearly new, in the case of comforters), and have a number of collection and distribution centers throughout the US and Canada. If you've been unable to donate cash but could put together some materials, take a look at http://mcc.org/kits and see if there is a drop-off center near you.

Janet Rosen
01-25-2010, 03:32 PM
It's been fairly quiet here so I want to add an incentive in the only way artists/artisans can: by offering some of my work.

I will send the 2 piece set of blue dragon dojo bag and weapons bag on this page http://www.zanshinart.com/Sewing/gift.html to the next person to donate $400 via aikiweb. (The set as is is selling for $85, if done as custom work the price would have been almost double that)

The next 2 people to donate $200 each will each receive one of the two premade weapons bags pictured on that page. I guess the first person to donate gets to pick the bag and the second person gets whichever is left.

Cady Goldfield
01-25-2010, 03:55 PM
Janet,
You rock!
But everyone knows that already. :)

akiy
01-27-2010, 05:52 PM
Hi everyone,

I just wanted to remind people that this Haiti Earthquake relief donation drive ends this Sunday, January 31st. We've so far collected $1170 and I'm hoping we'll be able to reach $2000 by this Sunday.

Thanks go out to everyone who has donated so far, both in this donation drive as well as through other means. Thanks to Janet, too, for pitching in her incentive above for folks to contribute to this donation drive.

The donation page on this site may be accessed here:http://www.aikiweb.com/haiti/ (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/../haiti/)
Thank you for your donations and your consideration!

-- Jun

akiy
02-01-2010, 10:38 AM
Hi folks,

Just to be sure that everyone who wants to donate will get the chance, I'm extending the donation drive for the Haiti Earthquake relief drive until the end of the day today (February 1st, 2010).

The donation page on this site may be accessed here:http://www.aikiweb.com/haiti/ (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/../haiti/)
Every little bit counts, folks.

Thank you,

-- Jun

akiy
02-03-2010, 02:27 PM
Hi everyone,

AikiWeb received 25 donations from all over the world totaling US$1,070. Due to PayPal charges in receiving the amount, $40.03 went to PayPal, making the total received $1029.97. AikiWeb pledged to donate an additional $100, but as I like round numbers, I'm adding another $70.03 to that to make the grand total for this donation drive to be $1,200.

I have just sent in the amount to the American Red Cross.

I want to thank everyone who has supported this donation drive to benefit those affected by the earthquake in Haiti. Whether you donated to this drive or helped out otherwise, I appreciate your support.

Thank you.

-- Jun

Janet Rosen
02-03-2010, 03:13 PM
And thank you, Jun, for all you do.

Marie Noelle Fequiere
02-12-2010, 07:45 PM
Hi, all. It's been a while since I last posted. I just want to let you know how things are going on here.
Well, the international community is really being awsome in their efforts to help. But things are just difficult here. Someone told me that Japan, for example, experience earthquake all the time, but with much less damage for the simple reason that the government adopted laws prohibiting the erection of any structure that is not earthquake proof. The Haitian government is finally working on a similar law. Our last earthquake was two hundred and fifty years ago, and a lack of appropriate technology and studies has left us vulnerable.
We are currently struggling with three big problems: sicknesses, aid distributions and the weather.
Doctors are reporting a surge of skin and infectious sicknesses among homeless people living in refugee camps caused by promiscuity.
The aid is apparently plenty but so poorly distributed that some people are receiving too much and simply selling what they cannot use. Meanwhile, others have survived the quake only to be starving to death.
Now, the weather. The number of people left homeless is unimaginable. And now, the rain is starting to fall. We need tents the way a fish needs water. All the available tents have been distributed, and we do not know if we are going to receive more. In the meantime, babies and the elderly are receiving nasty showers. We are now going to have more sicknesses, bad colds and pulmonary infections.
I speak from time to time to my aunt, my mother's sister. She is eighty nine years old, and she is a nun. Of course, she is retired and lives in a home run by the congregation she belongs to, for elderly nuns who can no longer work. My aunt told us that during the days following the quake, several old nuns died. They were not injured (although a younger nun was). Their old hearts just gave up. My aunt says that at her age, she just cannot deal with all this. She would like God to take her too. The other day, I was talking to her on the phone, and she suddenly said with a frightened voice: "Here it comes! Here it comes! Ok, it's gone". She had felt an aftershock. My aunt is eighty nine years old, and she spent her life teaching and devoting herself for others. It's sad that she has to deal with this now.
A few nights ago, I felt an aftershock, short but strong. The children of the friends I live with - they are eight and fourteen - ran outside, screaming in terror. Their house is farther from the epicenter of the quake and the roof is made of sheet instead of concrete. But still, is was scary. The kid's father is a geologist. They know it's going to last for a while. Not funny.
So here we are. The big quake happened just one month ago today. The government and the churches organized a day of fasting and prayers. Everything was closed. This weekend, we were supposed to celebrate carnival.
My family and I re-opened our store at a location that was used as a repair shop for big material. Tansporting all our stock from the main building to this new location is a nightmare. During the quake, shelves collapsed, and thousands of spare parts, a lot of them no bigger than a lime, flew everywhere. We are now busy transporting them, as well as the dismantled shelves, sorting them and putting them back on the shelves (after we put the shelves back together).
One of our employees is dead. His body hasn't been recovered yet. Our cashier was forced to leave the ruins of her house with her four year old boy's body still underneath. The child hasn't been found yet. Another employee lost his father, and his mother survived with both legs broken. Another employee also broke both of her legs.
A friend told my that she was taking a shower when the quake hit. She ran outside and watched her house collapse, raw as the day when she was born. Nobody laughed at her. Everybody was busy running for their lives, watching their houses collapse, their belongings being totalled, their loved ones die. My friend now lives at a friend's house.
In the end, all our employees - minus the one who died and the one who is wounded - are back. Most live either on the street or in their front yard. We tried to find tents for them. No success.
So our business has re-opened. The clients are still few. But we are confident that things will improve with time.
Last night, I cried when I saw on cnn.com the story of Anderson Cooper about the tragic fate of the nursing school's students.
There, that's it for today. And wow, that was long.
Thank you all for caring so much for us.
And don't forget to take care of yourselves also.

Janet Rosen
02-13-2010, 12:22 AM
Marie, from the bottom of my heart, warmest best wishes, wishes that I know will not shelter nor feed nor heal those in need. I know that I, and I hope many more, will remember as we go through our own lives in the weeks and months ahead that the need continues to be great, so that we remember to consider "yes, I can send a little more now."

crbateman
02-13-2010, 06:58 AM
Thanks for filling us in, Marie. Warmest wishes for you, and the earnest hope that you will maintain the strength that you and your people need to prevail. It's so much to have on your plate all at one time, but the human spirit is stout. God bless...

lbb
02-13-2010, 01:42 PM
Haiti is obviously still in the emergency phase, but as Marie says, there are longer-term needs emerging. I hope that those who have helped to support the emergency efforts can also support the recovery efforts. In regard to the pressing need for shelter as the rainy season gets underway, I did a little surfing and found World Shelters (http://worldshelters.org/), a nonprofit organization that provides transitional shelters and that currently is accepting donations to provide shelters for Haiti. I am not familiar with their work personally, but they have some history of providing shelter for homeless people in the US, for people in need of shelter following Hurricane Katrina, etc. If anyone else knows of organizations that have a good plan to provide shelter in Haiti, please post the information.

Marie Noelle Fequiere
02-21-2010, 06:20 PM
Hey guys, how are you doing? It's update time again.
So here is my report for today:

Stress, as well as air pollution caused by too much dust and too many bodies still left under the rubbles are taking their toll even on people not living in refugee camps. My sister was sick, as well as several people we know. They suffered from fever, body aches, stomach and intestinal discomfort. Doctors prescribe antibiotics.

I just learned that downtown Port au Prince is being patrolled by looters who simply break holes in the walls of the few abandoned buildings still standing and take everything they can. Our building was reportedly visited. It's a good thing we already moved most of our stock to our new location

Now, some happier news: on Friday, Santa Claus came to our family business.
My cousin's son, a young adult, is working like a horse as a volunteer with Project Concern, helping with the distribution of gifts from the international community. We asked him without success if he could find tents for our employees. On Friday, a container landed in our parking lot, and we were instructed to write a letter of gratitude for Project Concern. At the end of the day, the mystery container was opened, and our employees were instructed to line up. They did not receive tents, but a bounty including a tarpauling, plastic gallons for transporting water, and some kits for personal body care for men and women. Let me thank the international community on their behalf.

The dojo finally reopened this week. The students are still few - one of them lost his father - but we hope to see more people next month. Anyway, one student shared a funny story with us:
John - let's call him that - lives with his eighty year old father. When the quake struck, the old men was taking a nap. John barely had time to run on his balcony and jump like a ninja, landing in his front yard. To his horror, the house collapsed. As soon as it was possible, he rallied some friends and neighbors and they started frantically clearing the rubbles, calling John's father's name without hearing any answer. Everybody was sure of one thing: the brave old men was dead. The idea was simply to dig out his body for proper burial. It turned out that some big pieces of furniture had capsized, and were sent leaning against the opposite wall, creating a protective pyramid above the old men. He did not answer his son's calls for the simple reason that he was sleeping like a baby, completely unaware of what was happening. The quake struck ad 4:50 pm. He woke up around ten the next day, wondering why his room was so dark. He was finally pulled from the rubbles, unharmed, and wondering who's idea it had been to rearrange the house like that.
I love those little anecdotes that bring a little sunshine in the middle of a nightmare. I just wanted to share this one with you.
John sent his dad to live with relatives overseas. He stayed. He's a doctor. He lives on his front yard and, after spending weeks treating any victim who came to him, he decided to resume his Aikido training.
Live must go on.
Cheers

akiy
02-21-2010, 07:23 PM
Hi Marie,

Thank you for staying in touch with us and for sharing your current situation there in Haiti. I can only imagine -- or rather, only begin to imagine -- how things must be there since the earthquake.

I'm sure that things are still difficult there, to say the least, and am happy to hear that rays of light are beginning to shine through some of the darkness. I can only hope that relief efforts are and will continue for people there and I hope people here will continue to send in donations, however much, to their charities of choice.

Warm wishes for you and everyone there, Marie.

-- Jun

Janet Rosen
02-21-2010, 09:53 PM
Again, thank you Marie for taking time to update us. As Jun says, those of us who have even a little - every little bit will help, month after month....

Marie Noelle Fequiere
03-06-2010, 06:05 PM
This is probably going to be my last post about the Haiti Earthquake. Life goes on. But I do need to share a few last things with you guys. So here it is:

One of my cousins narrowly escaped dying under a collapsing supermarket. She went home shaken but alive, and, during the following days, she started to worry about her nine year old daughter not being able to go to school. She used to live overseas, and had returned to Haiti less than a year ago. So she decided to take her little girl back to where she used to live before, and to send her to the school she used to attend. So she went back with her little girl to Conception, Chile.
I swear I'm not kidding.
Well, got sick worrying for them for about a week before it was possible to talk to them, but they are doing fine, and they are now back in Haiti. Should we be bracing ourselves for another earthquake?
Anyway, Chile's president, Mrs Michele Bachelet, came to Haiti a few days after January 12th, to offer her help and her support. Now, she needs help. I think it's sad that we cannot give back anything more than encouragements and prayers. Members of Chile's army are in Haiti, to help. I thought that they would be allowed to go back to their country to check on their families. They were allowed to talk to them, but are staying. I feel a bit ashamed that they are here helping us while they are worried sick for their loved ones. I would like to express my deepest gratitude and sympathies to all the Chilean Aikiweb members, and to ask them to forward them to their friends and families. A human life is priceless, and eight hundred deads are just as bad as two hundred thousand. Chile is now in my prayers.
As for us Haitians, the road ahead is long but we have no choice but to keep going forward. The psychological and mental toll is heavy. A lot of survivors have lost their mind. A man I used to know lost his wife and two of his three children. The surviving child was severely wounded. I heard that theses days, he is completely incoherent, and that he is talking about de deceased children like they were still alive.
Let me also tell you about the heroes.
When the parliament collapsed, trapping a hefty number of congressman, the first rescuers were the least expected ones. They were unemployed people, mostly men, who have a tradition of standing in front of the gates of the parliament, and to pester the congressman for jobs. They were the first ones to extract survivors with their bare hands.
A lot of young people, young adults and even teenagers were grabbed by their parents and summoned to help with the wounded. They saw victims with the most horrible wounds. They experienced the shock of seeing someone who seemed to be doing not too bad suddenly collapse and die from internal injuries. They are not going to forget this anytime soon. A doctor was working at the hospital when the quake struck. The hospital was soon overwhelmed by the number of victims. So this doctor called his son, a young adult, and told him to come give a hand immediately. The young fellow does not share his father's passion for medicine. He is studying to become an accountant. But he did come, and helped the best that he could. The following days, he flew back to Canada where he goes to college. For weeks after that, he experienced nightmares, talking and crying in his sleep. He is doing better these days.
I also heard of people who lost their business, and who occupied their days at hospitals as volunteers. They are now working to restart their business from scratch.
Life will go on.

So here it is. You guys have no idea how much it helped me just to sit down and write down my feelings and my observations. My mother and I will have our own place in a few more months. I would not know what we would have done without this friend who plucked us from the prime minister's front lawn in the middle of several hundred of less fortunate victims and took us to his mother's house, who died a few months ago. I remember this woman as the most simple and charming person, and I am sure that she is pleased to help us. We only participate for the electricity and water bill and the gas for the generator. So many thanks to give, so few ways to pay back.

God bless you all.

Marie Noelle Fequiere
03-06-2010, 07:44 PM
And, oh, guys, I forgot one last thing: The woman who was forced to leave the ruins of her house with her little boy buried underneath is pregnant again. It turns out that she was already pregnant on the day of the earthquake, but she wasn't showing yet. She also has another little boy, younger than the one who died.
A child cannot be replaced, especially in the hearts of his parents. But let's just hope that this new little bundle of hope will help ease the pain. And make it easier for his/her parents to go on.

akiy
03-07-2010, 08:40 PM
Hi Marie,

Your stories that you have relayed have touched my heart. Thank you for sharing them. My thoughts go out to everyone who was affected by the earthquake and my hopes for a swift recovery and reconstruction go out to you all.

Best,

-- Jun