It’s simply hard, very hard

From my visit 28 Feb-1 March:

Driving around Port au Prince and the surrounding environs, even weeks after the earthquake, you are confronted with scenes of devastation everywhere. Buildings titlpastedGraphic.pdfed awry; other buildings nothing but rubble. Mounds of rubble neatly swept into the street and marked off so that no one inadvertently runs into them.

Life continues in Haiti, that is for certain. But you can’t escape the devastation. And those scenes remind you that while the world may have moved on to the next big thing, the people of Haiti cannot and will not move on. Not until they have recovered all the bodies. Not until they have cleared the rubble. Not until they have homes in which to live, places in which to rest, offices in which to work.

One friend, seeing the devastation for the first time, tried to describe it to me over the phone. Our conversation:

“Oh, my. It’s …”

“Yes, I know. It’s hard.

“Yes, that’s the word: hard.

“There’s nothing else to say, no other word to use, my friend. It’s simply hard, very hard.

And yet the Haitians continue with their lives, as best they can.

They rescue whatever they can from buildings – blocks, stones, rebar, wood, nails – so those items can be used again. They stand atop collapsed buildings, trying to determine how to remove the next piece.

Two weeks ago at the Holy Trinity Trade School, another layer of debris was removed. Under it, the workers found 200 of our students who never got out.

The students were buried in situ – there was nothing else that could be done.

It had been six weeks by the time they were found. Six weeks.

Yes, this is hard. Very hard.

There are no other words.

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About Lauren Stanley

All my life, it seems, I’ve been on mission. And it’s all my mother’s fault. You see, when I was a child, my mother was adamant: We were to help those in need, those who had less than we did. We were to speak for those who could not speak, feed those who had no food, give water to those who were thirsty.