Tuesday, February 03, 2009

In Haiti

Have internet for a little bit. We spent the day going south, driving over a road that was more a washed-out ditch, to Sainte Rock in Baie d'orange, the region that the media highlighted a few months ago. 26 children died of malnutrition here, but when we arrived in Sainte Rock, we were told that at least 40 children and adults have died.

IN fact, a woman died yesterday of malnutrition and they were burying her today. Her child is also gravely ill, but it was a three-hour walk (at least)

It was pretty eerie... as we were driving to the region, we passed by the home of one of the local coffin makers. There was a freshly carved coffin in the yard.

We saw lots of graves as well, looking like grim reminders in the rolling mist.

I talked with quite a few people, including a woman whose young twins died of hunger back in October. When I asked the crowd surrounding us if they knew someone who lost a loved one from starvation, it was chilling.

They all called out the names of the children they lost, or the relatives who died from starvation.

There is no food. No crops because there hasn't been any rain, and then the hurricanes wiped out what was left. Neighbors hoping to borrow food from neighbors watch their kids go hungry. The UN still does food drops, but they are sporadic.

So a couple of months after all the media attention in this area, all the fuss and shocked horror, the people are still hungry. Still suffering.

I'm hoping we can help with giving them seeds for planting, and food in the interim, it looks like we'll be able to do it. The people can't afford seeds for planting, but the land looks fertile, and there has been some rain. Those who live there say this is the worst they have ever seen it.


Gillian Layne said...

Will the new administration offer any additional help, or will it not matter?

Be safe, Bonnie.

Bonnie Vanak said...

Good question, Gillian, sadly, when it comes to Haiti, there are no easy answers. INHO, just pouring money into the country will not help.

I try to avoid the whole political thing and just do what I can.