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Latest Report from Hinche

February 28, 2010

First of all, thanks to everyone who made Haiti Solidary Sunday at St. Bridget’s such a sucess this weekend. Please keep Father Bourdeau, the people of Carissade, and all of Haiti in your prayers and contributions – if you can. As always, donation info is available on our sidebar.

Father Bourdeau stands proudly in front of the grotto to Mary which he constructed 10 years ago.

Also, I just received this e-mail from Mark Coughlin of St. Monica’s Parish in Atlanta. I hope he doesn’t mind me putting it up on the web. Mark, a Creole speaker and experienced Haitian traveller has done an amazing job with water purification and other projects. He just flew in to PAP the other day with 200+ tents for the Matthew 25 emergency camp. Now he’s in Hinche and his description of the scene there is quite powerful. Read on.

Fr. Bourdeau and his trusty chauffeur, Boudou, came this afternoon to pick up myself and Michelet Joseph, the national director of my little foundation – (pardon the plug) to take us up to Hinche. The road has been greatly improved with asphalt all the way to Mirebalais, which is almost halfway. The rest of the way has been graded in preparation for paving and as a result, the trip takes less than half the time it used to. We made it in about 3 hour. After a great dinner prepared by our beloved Madame Prince, I went for a walk around the neighborhood, chatting with friends and asking how life has changed here after the earthquake. They told me that food and other essentials are constantly in short supply and that is driving up prices. There are many thousands of displaced people here. Many of those who are fortunate enough to have relatives in Hinche have been taken in to already-crowded homes and those without those kinds of connections are staying in one of the several makeshift refugee camps in the area St. Monica’s Klorfasil safe water systems have already been provided to many of the displaced families through the efforts of our Safe Water employees, Jocelyne and Irenee, with help from several of my Better Health for Haiti volunteers. Tomorrow, I’m going to visit as many encampments as possible to see what can be done.

As I was walking around tonight I asked a few groups of people on the street if they had seen any photos of the earthquake damage in Port au Prince. They replied, “no, do you have any you can show us?” Except for the few here who can buy generators or solar panels, people have no electricity in their homes, let alone televisions and CNN. The earthquake has been something they could only see with their imagination – at least until I pulled up some images on my phone for them. Though they had already heard much about the disaster, were very shocked and saddened by what they saw. Tonight at dinner, Fr. Whitney (sp?), a friendly priest who is living here temporarily, said that he couldn’t bring himself to go to Port au Prince. He said he was afraid he would not be able to bear what he would see there. He may be right about that. From Hinche, Mark Couglhin

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