i remember when a friend of mine told me about it. and thinking "wow really? i can't believe it." just being in a state of ignorant disbelief. that first day that we heard about it, i didn't really feel. it just was... these things happen, i guess. there have been a lot of things that have been going on this week with people who are close to me here. major things, and times that needed to be dedicated to other people who needed a coffee. a lunch. a listen.
but then. it wasn't until the next day that i started to feel. and it was when i was sitting alone at home, and turned on the national. and as I watched peter mansbridge outline the destruction, it became much more real. to see places that you have seen. walked on. know of. and how they are 100% not like they were before.
from what I know, everyone that i know there is okay. they are safe. there was one fellow who was missing for a while, but, according to facebook status updates (really?!) he is okay. the area up by the orphanage... not sure?! but, it is a little away from the capital, and it is rural... so, i suspect that it is not as damaged as P-A-P.
some of the things that I think about right now are about the immediate responses.
we will see the aid flow in right now. I was watching the news today and it said that the problem is that the airport and ports have traffic jams. (problem. i dont think so...) but, what i think will be the problem, is that in the days. months. years. that follow. we cannot forget that this has happened. relief must continue in the future. haiti must rebuild.
as PAP is the most devastated, relief efforts will be focused there. but, people will flee from the capital. they will go to other places to look for food, and shelter. they will go to the places that are less effected, but will still face shortages, due to mass "internally displaced persons."
refugees, or the families in your immediate/local area who will have people relying on them. they too, need your help. do you know a haitian? will they be providing for their loved ones? can you help them?
we live in privilege. we live in areas where if natural disaster strikes, there is still quick access to healthcare and aid. for example... in 1989, when a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck in 1989 in San Francisco, the quake killed 63 people. In haiti, there are already 50'000 people deceased... estimated 200,000.
in the coming time, you will hear sad news, but you will hear stories of resilience, and heroism, and hopefully, recovery. let us pray that instead of having this be a story of total devestation, that this can be a story that allows Haiti to rebuild stronger than what they were before. that this could be a story that allows Haiti to re-start.
if you are wondering what you can do... the canadian gov't is matching donations. choose a charity that most suits your philosophies, and donate. donate 5$. or hundreds. or, if you are sitting around with only minor commitments in life right now... donate time. seriously. go. leave what you are doing, and go for 2 weeks. especially if you are a emergency medical personal. but, if you can't do that... here are some bigger, reliable orgs... you probably already know about them, but, this makes it easy.