Fourteen days and counting….
Today marks 14 days after the earthquake. Things here in Fond-des-Negres continue about the same…we continue to get aftershocks and it is very unnerving for the staff. We are starting to see stress related complaints…headaches,and the like. Many people are too afraid to sleep in their homes. Our corps is now meeting in the SA school yard for Sunday AM service. We had at least 170 people there this past Sunday with stirring testimonies as to how God saw them through the earthquake. Still no school for Matthew and I’m trying to find time in the midst of my work to give him a few work assignments. I modified a solitaire game to help him with adding numbers to make 10. He’s getting pretty quick at it.
Felix is still in PAP. Things there are improving a bit as they have been able to remove many of the bodies, have begun to get food and water and medical treatment to the surviivors. We’re still awed at miraculous rescues after 7, 11 and even 12 days under the rubble! They are estimating the number dead to exceed 150,000. To put that in perspective, that is more than the population of Peoria, IL or Kansas City, KS, about the same as Salem, OR or Rockford, IL and a little less than Winston-Salem, NC, Augusta, GA or Grand Rapids, MI. Hard to really take in.
The SA triage clinic is seeing about 300 people a day and has several teams of doctors working there, including Col (Dr.) Herb R. Yesterday there was another mass food distribution at The Sal. Army compound for the neighborhood and with the help of the US military I hear it went extremely well and orderly. DHQ (and the Disaster Operation team) has Felix doing everything from taking people from our triage center to a hospital, to going to our contacts to pick up medical supplies, to getting teams and supplies from the airport to even taking a search and rescue team to a site to look for survivors. He and the other Haitian officers (who are mostly acting as translators) are sleeping outdoors in the DHQ courtyard. He might come home tomorrow afternoon. He’s out of clean clothes and needs to regroup to go back. I need him to take care of some financial work like writing some checks to pay some of the staff.
The banks are starting to open and we were able to get ours to agree to start cashing our checks. Our AIDS Relief account had just transfered three months worth of money on Jan 8th and it all needs to be spent by the end of February! In order to do that we have to be able to write checks on the amount. Citibank, our other bank, has made arrangements with another bank to operate out of their location so they are up and running. I’m still waiting to hear of the fate of the Citibank personnel we have worked so closely with over these past nine years. By the way. last Tuesday was my nineth anniversary of being in Haiti. The post office was destroyed, so I don’t know what arrangement they will make for mail delivery at the moment. I haven’t checked yet to see if The Salvation Army’s Lynx mail service with a Ft. Lauderdale PO Box is working.
Well, it is late. God bless and keep you all. Thanks for your prayers.
Violet (with Felix and Matthew)