A 6.1 aftershock struck Haiti this morning, shaking more rubble from damaged buildings and sending screaming people running into the streets.
Hat Tip BG
Meanwhile… Soldiers told to stop handing out food. “Food handouts were shut off Tuesday to thousands of people at a tent city here when the main U.S. aid agency said the Army should not be distributing the packages. It was not known whether the action reflected a high-level policy decision at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) or confusion in a city where dozens of entities are involved in aid efforts.”
Thomas D. and Christine M. sent in this request yesterday:
As many of you know for the past several years I have been going to Haiti and volunteering my time and skills with an Ophthalmic surgical team, and I am Vice President of Ray of Hope Eye Care, Inc. our non-profit that provides funds and equipment to our clinic. In the time our team has been going to Haiti we have built a clinic that is open year round providing free eye care and medications to those in the Northwest of Haiti, a poor rural area. When our team makes its annual trip into Haiti, we average 170 surgical and laser procedures and treat close to 1,000 people in the clinic. All of this in 8 working days. When we first started going there we were treating “the worst of the worst” In the past 3 years we have finally gotten to a point where we are providing preventative care, for the first time ever trying to prevent the Haitian people from losing their sight.
The Haitian people live in deplorable conditions, but are some of the most loving and generous people you would ever want to meet…
…”There are bodies everywhere. As they bring them out of buildings they put them [in the streets] because there is nowhere to put them. Then the tractor comes and puts them in a dump truck and takes them away…..Even if someone finds their family, where would they put the body? There is nowhere to put them.”
On Friday morning at 5:00 am Gesner began his journey home to St. Louis du Nord (where his wife, mother and little boy live – it is also where our clinic and the Mission are.) He started his travels in a dump truck “with more than 300 people packed like sardines” in the back. The truck went as far as Gonaives. He then hopped from tap tap to tap tap (a tap tap is usually a pick up truck that you flag down for a paid ride and are crammed with people. When you want to get out you bang (tap) the side to the truck for it to stop) He then went from motorcycle to motorcycle (the Haitians refer to these as taxi’s) working his way home. It took him 18 hours to reach St. Louis du Nord and cost him all of the money he had. He did not eat anything the entire trip because he did not have enough money for food.
He said His wife and mother “jumped” on him when he got home they were so happy to see him. “It’s hard to describe,” He said. “I don’t feel like I’m in my right skin yet. I only know that I am very, very glad that I am home now, that I am out of Port au Prince. No one wants to stay there”
I know I’ve been “long winded” and I’ll get to my point here. Haiti needs help. Our team is going in again on Feb. 11, 2010 ( I can’t go this time due to work) but several of my friends will be going back. The Mission and the clinics in Haiti have taken all of the supplies they had to the disaster in Port au Prince, and with people migrating to the rural areas the hospitals there are overflowing with the injured and sick. The Mission has 2 surgery suites and 3 clinics (including ours) they are planning to set up a makeshift hospital. We need supplies! (I’ve attached a list) Many of them are over the counter meds and other things that can be purchased at the dollar store. Some of you work in the medical field and may have access to getting some to these items. If you would like to help please send any of these items my way, By Feb 1st and I will get them to my friends in Kansas City and Kentucky that are making the trip to Haiti in a few weeks. Please spread the word by passing this on. I am attaching my info so you can contact me. I know times are hard for many and if you are unable to help I understand. We can use good wishes and prayers as well. Any Monetary donations are appreciated too (costs for fuel to run the generators, our only source of electricity, is now 20.00 USD per gallon) and can be sent to Ray of Hope Eye Care, Inc. (Checks can be mad out to Ray of Hope and sent to me or Northwest Haiti Christian Mission at www.nwhcm.org go to give and there is an area for earthquake donations. (both are tax deductible organizations)
Thank you all in advance for your help.
Christine (Chris) M.
UPDATE: Blackfive has several updates from the Rubicon Rescue Team on the ground in blogging on their rescue work in Haiti.