Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thoughts Twenty One Days Later

I've witnessed a metamorphosis here since arriving here 21 days ago. Then, the words I could use to describe what I saw was a whole city in shock, walking around like zombies, walking wounded. Blank stares. Hollow eyes, caked with mud, now dry from an inability to produce more tears. A survival mentality had set in - each one for themselves. Walk right past someone trapped, because they needed to get home to find their own loved ones.

Today, car horns blare from 4:00am on late into the night. The continual roar of traffic, occasional squealing of tires, movement everywhere. Life is returning to Port-au-Prince. It started like a drip - in dire need of food and water, street vendors started setting up shop - hawking anything and everything. Fruits and vegetables started appearing. Clothes, used and new - recovered from the rubble of someone else's house - who knows - now hand on clothes hangers covering a filthy crumbling wall like royal curtains. Mountains of shoes have also made it to the street vendors. Even seen a place where you could buy just one shoe! Not sure why, either they had a niche for those that could only find one of their shoes. Or more morbid, selling shoes to all those who lost limbs because of this tragedy.
Fuel supplies stabilized, so that there were no longer block long lines at the pump hoping to get a few gallons of diesel. Shortly there after, the money transfer companies started forwarding money from loved ones outside of Haiti to their loved ones who were going on week two of no banking system, no ATM, no electricity, no water, no grocery stores, no bed to sleep on - only the hard pavement of the road in front of their house. Lines circled around corner for the hundreds that desperately needed cash.


After a governmental decree, banks started opening their doors - well not throwing them open, but just a crack. The armed guards at the door let one customer in at a time. Still, there is no electricity in Port-au-Prince. In the last few days a couple restaurants have opened. Very few shops are open, but some just now getting back into business. Food is still hard to come by, with huge crowds crushing to get anything possible. It takes military escorts to get a food distribution done without disturbances or getting your truck emptied en route. The medical emergency continues - as seen by this "ambulance" (medical team unknown) to the airport to be med evac. Digging out will take months.
Life is springing forth from devastation. This banana plant demonstrates the resilience of the Haitian people.
The biggest prayer from people in Port-au-Prince is that it does not rain! Living in the streets, with most not having even a tent will be horrible if it rains. Sprawling tent cities will become mud holes if it rains. It is estimated that there is only 1 porta potty for every 2,000 people in the camp. Rain will bring serious health issues.

The metamorphosis is not yet complete. But three weeks ago, this mother lived through the worst natural disaster Haiti has experienced. She was just a few miles from the epicenter. This photo taken today, shows resilience - hope!
Keep praying for the Haitian people during these extremely difficult times!



13 comments:

  1. Bob -- Thanks for these updates and your amazing photos, and for the reminder to pray. Unfortunately, the story of Haiti is already fading to the background of the news reports. We will continue to pray -- for the people of Haiti, and for you and all the others from Compassion who are there. May God bless the work of your hands, and give you his peace, joy, and protection. Praying for Becky and your family, too! We love you! --Steve and Jane Holsteen

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  2. Yeah, like, what she said. Love you Roberto!

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  3. Such a beautiful post. I am sharing this. God bless you and keep you encouraged.

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  4. Thank you for sharing this update!!! Praying for those beautiful people, that God would do a mighty work among them, in hearts first, and then in healing bodies and homes!!

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  5. I see such hope in the faces of the people of Haiti and will also pray for them and all those who are working to help them recover. I feel so helpless here, but know as always, that God is where we cannot be and where we lift up those we need His help for. My sponsored child is in Las Cayes, and perhaps not as effected as those in or near Port Au Prince, but I pray he does not lose the hope he has expressed for an education, and that God will lift him up to be a rebuilder of his country, Mary =Oregon

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  6. That picture of the banana plant...God bringing life from among the rubble....beautiful.

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  7. Ditto to all comments. I continue to talk to all I can about continuing to help Haiti and to pray. I pray daily that I will hear soon about my child in Haiti, my daughter's child and the CSP I have been helping. I know that many are like the women you show with the two girls, not ready to give up or quit. We need to keep people informed that everything is not back to normal yet in Haiti and much is still needed.

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  8. What a blessing your posts and pictures are! You remind us of individual folks who struggle, hope, and receive help from servants of Christ. This is the news we'll never see in the papers or on the tv.

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  9. The photos are great! I keep hoping I'll see one of our little guy there. Still don't know if he is ok.

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  10. Thank you for your work there. May God continue to keep you and yours safe, strong, and filled with His driving compassion for the lost and suffering people of Haiti. I will be arriving on Monday with a medical team. To God be the glory for the powerful things He is doing through you and yours for the least of these! Numbers 6:24-26

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  11. Thank you so much for posting this information...the photos are amazing and offer so much hope. I will continue to pray for you and all of the aid workers, as well as for the people of Haiti. I know it may be some time yet, but I am still waiting to hear about the little boy I sponsor in Haiti. Please pray for Abner and his family.

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  12. thank you for posting this, I have had the people of haiti on my mind alot.
    My prayers will be with you and all the workers over there doing a fantasic job.
    So pleased to here theres a hope rising up, and in these desperate times lots may turn to God for help.
    God Bless, you.
    Just by chance I have been very interested in a family over there by the name of the Rushbrooks, they opened a home for boys, a Grace church,and a communtity centre a few years ago. do you know them and if they survived? or does anyone on this link know of them? would really love to know, my prayers have been with them.
    Thanks, Louise, New Zealand

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  13. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Lucy

    http://toddlergirls.net

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