I put this video together on a day distributing goods in Haiti. It’s complex, with the positive and the more complex. People always get scared towards the end of a distribution, and trouble often breaks out. It’s a very complex situation – but overall Haitians are, amazingly, holding it together.
Tomorrow I am heading out on a helicopter delivery of items to a remote hillside location which cannot be reached by road. (By an aid convoy, at least). Will report on that.
Meanwhile base life continues – there is a high turnover, but more long termers are beginning to arrive, which will help. I spent the evening chatting with a number of UN survivors; there is a big range of reactions, from people who have found focus in their work, to people who are clearly totally frazzled, and in need of a break. This exhaustion manifests itself in many different ways, from a certain blankness to a tendency to blame others for the situation, an inability to accept that those who did not live through the quake can play a valid part in the response.
It’s sad. This was a deeply traumatic event for a community, and that community is struggling to adapt. Every question regarding Haiti is now “was that before, or after”. There is a strong sense of two worlds. I straddle them uncomfortably – we were settling in here, but relative newcomers when it all happened, and in Miami of course.
That makes us, to a degree, outsiders, yet there is recognition our lives are totally disrupted also. Putting in place contingency plans to move our household out, but not quite willing to come to terms with the fact that it’s all over quite yet.