Port au Prince, Haiti Day 6, Trip 4

I am still blogging a lot less, because days are very very full. In the past 24 hours there have been 3 aftershocks that get everyone’s attention–today I was literally jumping down from a stair into our HR office and next thing I knew, everyone was outside, panicking and making phone calls. I hadn’t felt it because I was “airborne”, but it shook people up. A lot. Last night, a 4.6 woke me up–I felt as if someone had literally slammed the bed up and down.

People are really wearing thin. Today even the “toughest” of people said I DON’T WANT TO FEEL ANOTHER SHAKE. Our staff support team circulated, making sure everyone was ok. Giving people a chance to breathe, shake it off, sound, talk–whatever. Rumors of ANOTHER abound and so, despite the widely shared fact that each “sekus” represents a release in the earth’s tension, its impossible for us here in Haiti–surrounded by so many ongoing reminders of January 12–not to wonder if there is another big one coming. The onslaught of Missionaries spreading their misguided theories of Armageddon, and that Haitians are being punished — and will be punished — for their sins with more earthquakes (if they don’t convert)–only amplify’s the fear and the misunderstanding and the anxiety.

Since my arrival I have seen a leg, a head, and a scalp uncovered. Each day we drive to the office and there is another place where bodies, and body parts, are burned. A black char mark on the mixed pile of rubbage and rubble that stands as the sole reminder that someone else was found.

Despite all this—and the heavy rains that have begun to fall–there appears to be no solid plan forward, no long term consideration, no true leadership and decision making.

We wait. We wait each day as we drive past slowly shrinking piles of cements and clothes and body parts and stuff that now begin to block the roads again after a long night of rain. We wait when the occasional waft of death invades our nostrils and reminds us, its not over. We wait while people report rapes and robberies in full daylight in the camps, while kidnapping appears to be on the rise, while fear becomes the scent in the air everyone is breathing.

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