The day of the earthquake, when I climbed over the rubble of my street, Delmas 91, I assumed it would be months before it was cleared. I was amazed to walk up the street exactly one month and one week post-quake to see my street clear. It had been done by hand by a few men. Likewise, my neighbors finally cleared a path alongside my house to get to the Ravine below me and a path to get into St Joe's without having to rockclimb.
We were incredibly lucky to get a donation of rice, beans and corn meal - 11 bags!!! - for the refugee camp. It came through my friend Karen Bultje who got a donation of 105 bags but did not need them all for her people. The men carried them up to the field yesterday and gave out half to the families. They will distribute the other half on Thursday.
Up in the camp, people are settling in for rainy season. It has rained a few times since I've been back and everyone has gotten wet. A friend of Angel Missions gave us 4 tarps this week, so that has helped, and many people are using wood and sheets of metal to make slightly more permanent structures. I am still one of very few people sleeping inside a building. I felt completely comfortable until the three rather large tremors (4.7s) that we've had last night and the night before. I am staying inside, but have moved to the front room where it shakes less. Even when I tell myself, "Don't worry, your house can handle this," each quake takes me back to the nightmare of the first week and my heart starts going a mile a minute.
Today, we got a donation of food and water from Foster Fuels, a random connection that Vanessa made at the airport one day. Because we had given out rice yesterday, we only gave out water today, but everyone was very grateful. Thanks Foster Fuels!
I continue to marvel at how the quake has brought me together with the people in my neighborhood. And it's not just because I have been able to provide for them physically. We had a community meeting on Saturday and they told me that they particularly appreciate the fact that I simply stop by to say hi and to chat. When Vanessa was getting ready to leave yesterday, making me the lone resident in the Shoebox, the men came down to assure her that I would be completely safe. "She's our sister!" they proclaimed.