Haiti

Haiti is suffering from the massive Jan 12 earthquake and needs our help. Below I've posted some first-hand accounts of the quake from people in Haiti. Please consider a donation to an organization in Haiti. If you would like to give directly to a Haitian family, please contact me (anna.versluis@gmail.com).

Thursday, June 29, 2006

From Monday June 26th

Well, today was a wasted day. I waited two hours at the Bureau de la Protection Civile (Haiti's disaster agency) for H to plan a trip to the study area and he never showed up. (In fact, I almost wasn't allowed into the Bureau since I was wearing a sleeveless blouse and there is a dress code requiring sleeves. I'd never heard of such a dress code in Haiti, but I managed to find an only slightly used handkerchief in my purse and position it over my shoulders.) Since I'd already missed my meeting with Joseph, I walked to the Service de la Planification Urbaine (for the third time) to look for the 1986 photographs. Their archives were in complete disorder and everything was covered in much dust. Needless to say, I didn't find the photographs. The former director was in the office and he said he'd never heard of these photographs. Everyone says they should be in the Ag Ministry, but everything there was burned during one of the political uprisings.

I stopped by RNDDH to eat some lunch and try to make phone calls. The phone system just keeps getting worse—it usually takes me at least 2 dozen tries before I get through to another phone. Very discouraging. I wasn't able to get a hold of anyone except Pastor G, who was leaving his office at 2 PM. I didn't think I could get there in time and I wasn't up for the long route (3 different public transport routes) to get there only to find Guillomettre had already left, so I didn't even try to go.

Instead I went (for a third time) to the FAES office and now have been waiting over an hour in the hopes that they will give me a copy of a report they wrote in 2000. I read the report at the Ministry of Planning and it's not a very good report, but I'd like a copy anyway. At this point, though, I'm not sure it's worth all my efforts. Once I leave, I think I'll walk to a supermarket to buy a map of the city. I'll try to go to some libraries this week but am not sure where they are located. (Also discouraging: I called the USAID office today and asked if I could stop by their library and was told the library is closed "for the moment." I asked when it would be open and they told me they had no idea, they didn't even know why it was closed and, no, there was no one else I could talk to who could give me more information. Unbelievable! Our tax dollars, hard at work.)

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