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Monday, August 2, 2010

Tent city

right now, Blake and I are both sitting on a third-story balcony, blogging under the stars. I hear running water, two little haitian girls playing a game in the dark, a screaming baby in the distance (no thanks) and two of the boys that live in the house, speaking in rapid Creole.

(that baby is still freakin' screaming!)

tonight for supper, we had pasta with an amazzzzzziiiing tomato sauce, avocado salad and a potato-squash-ish dish. And four Haitian oreos for dessert. This is the first meal that I have been able to eat all of. Both lunch and supper here UAE contained at least some form of meat or fish. On our drive across the country, I was a bit lax about eating animal products, so since we have been here, I have been working hard to only eat grains, fruits and veggies. I have been eating butter on my bread for supper, because after a 9 hour day of hauling a million buckets, I need some fat to fill me up...

(and yep, stillll crying)

I have a million things I want to post about, but I want to draft a bunch of separate posts about certain Haitian issues and experiences.

So, since we have been here, we have been interacting with a haitian man named Daniel. He spent some time in Miami and has wonderful English. Right now, Daniel is the head construction worker here at St. Joes. He is in charge of 18 other Haitian workers, none of which have ever done construction before. Actually, until the quake, none of these men have ever held a job.

Daniel invited us (b and I, along with the group of 14 from Nebraska) to see where he and his family are living post-quake. He is living in one of the many ..tent cities... set up as housing for the folks that lost everything. In his city, there are over 50,000 people. Everybody is living in a tent. And by ...tent.. I mean they have wooden boards on the sides with a tarp on top. No floors. It's the rainy season right now. We have been here six nights and three of them, there has been some extreme storming. This city was set up entirely on hills, which means the majority of folks get all the run-off on the rain. Remember, they have no (freakin') floors. Angry, yet? Also, there isn't a school. So, there are over 18,000 kids in this camp not being educated. There is no electricty. No showers. There are two massive water balloons (like, 8x4 feet) that have been brought in by Oxfam (a non-profit org 'helping' with aid). Great, right?! Well, the balloons are no being kept by the organization, so the water is full of eggs and maggots. And because these people have no other choice, they are forced to drink, cook and shower with this water.

(I don't want this to become political, but all of this has me in a rage. If we want change, we need awareness. If this is important to you, please (times a million) contact your local govt officials and demand more aid in Haiti. The media has it all wrong. Haiti is not recovering. Not yet. There is no governmental plan in place to mobilize this country. If you want to babysit our Haitian babies, talk to your officials.. Ha)

Anyways, Daniel came to our house and we walked over 2.5 miles (one way) to the tents. We walked through a few slum areas on our way, and people were so happy to see us. High-fives and yells. They still see us as a sign of hope, even after all we have done to control Haiti.. Once in the city, which really is just a hillside with tents, so sidewalks, roads, nothing. There are ditches for waste, rats and mud.. While we were there, the sky opened up and just dumped. Torrential downpour, with terrible thunder and lightning. For over an hour. We kept treking. Through the mud. Down the hills. Nobody complained. Ans we walked all the way back. It was an incredible experience and I am so thankful we went.

We took tons of picures with blakes camera, so we can update when we get home and have a computer.

One more note (if you comment us, please leave your name so we know who is writing)
Also, if you aren't reading blakes blog :

New testimate- Creole bible

Before our walk to tent city

Haitian sign- all signs are really spraypainted concrete

Micah and Annie (you know those Midwestern folks that are just born with good hearts?!? Totally how I feel about these two .

The little kids love seeing their pictures on the camera.

I wish I had a photo of the tents on my phone. It would break your heart. Fear not, broken hearts, coming up as soon as we get home!

We miss all of you!
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