Monday, November 8, 2010
Hurricane and cholera updates
Things have been rather hectic in Haiti lately, and on top of little issues like hurricanes and epidemics, we haven't had power here at the Shoebox for nearly a week. Again. I don't really mind living by candles and flashlights, but when it comes to internet access, not having power is a bit of a hinderance.
We made it through Hurricane Tomas without much damage. In Port-au-Prince, it has mostly just been a long weekend of rain. I was out in the middle of the night during the worst of it checking on tent cities in my area and though everyone was wet, the only injury I encountered was a bump on a women's head where a piece of wood framing had come down on her. People are hungrier than usual because with the storm, most markets closed, but overall, we did quite well considering the catastrophe that it could have been.
Most schools were closed in anticipation of the storm. In my neighbhorhood, that meant kids hanging out at my house helping me do hard tasks like...eating pizza. Over at St Joe's, the boys were thrown right into the bucket brigade...or into the wheelbarrows.
We continue to send supplies out to our collegues in the Artibonite where the cholera first hit. Vanessa, my boss, has been in country for about 2 weeks (more about her visit in another post) and she has spent many hours preparing oral rehydration solutions with water, salt and sugar. This week, the kids and I joined the party. It's good to add very important English words like "Shake" and "Reconstitute" to their vocabulary.
Today, I got the very bad news that cholera has hit Gonaives. My friends who work in the slums there have already had several neighbors die of the disease and they are fighting it with all they have. I am working to get my hands on IV fluids for them and am trying to find a way to get there myself. Of course, at the same time, we have heard reports that over 100 cases of cholera are being investigated today in Cite Soleil, the worst ghetto of Port-au-Prince. If those reports are true, there is no need for me to go the cholera. The cholera will come to me.
I love Haiti, but sometimes, I just wish it would be a little less Haiti-esque!