Thursday, January 14, 2010

Earthquake update and how you can help

The Mompremiers will be receiving evacuees from the capital. If you’d like to help them provide food, clothing, and other necessities, you can send a check to UCI in Iowa, and put earthquake in the memo. This will help not only the people staying with them but others who are returning to family in Caiman. They will have a lot of people to feed. JeanJean already bought two large bags of rice this morning to prepare.

JeanJean spent last night ministering to people who lost family & friends. Four young men from here who attend university in PAP were killed when the house they share collapsed. Kristie said their family sold land and made great sacrifices to send their kids to college. This morning there was much distraught wailing wafting from Bohoc (sounds carry well along the base of the mountain). I took a walk and came upon a group of people gathered around a hand crank radio. People are trying to go to PAP to bring back family. Hinche, the major town south of here on Hwy 3, is becoming an evacuation center. JeanJean left around noon with their truck to bring family back from PAP (they were just here this weekend for the holiday). HAFF, the American run school & ag training center down the road, is coordinating relief efforts with the Mompremiers to receive evacuees, both family and other people. The team who was just here from Iowa brought an electrical water purifier that can fill a large water jug in 3 minutes (compared to hours waiting for it to filter through a ceramic filter). I’m sure when they brought it they had no idea of the magnitude of a blessing it will be. A man (Collin?) from HAFF was reviewing with Kristie how many barrels and receptacles they have for water.

Life is slow paced here anyway, now it has really slowed down as there isn’t anything I can do to help and schools are canceled. Knowing the language is really empowering, I feel comfortable going for long walks and take along my binocs and bird guide to teach about the birds (people are pretty much outside all day). Family is coming tonight, and Mike and I may be sharing rooms with other evacuees later this week. Kristie said her cooks don’t have immediate family in PAP, so they continue cooking wonderful meals for us. Soon there will be many mouths to feed.

The nutrition center I was to visit today was cancelled, and this morning I had moments of feeling like there wouldn’t be any more teaching opportunities, and yet I am here for 15 more days. But a nutrition center meets in the gazebo at the end of the driveway so I’ll go give a bird schpeill there and handout stickers. In retrospect spending this past week just settling in gave me a lot of opportunities to learn Kreyol from various people and I’ll be able to talk about the birds without an interpreter. Tomorrow morning Louders will take me on a bird hike, and I’ll ask him to take me to a large cave up the mountain on Saturday. His sister Soyrina meets with us too.

Please pray that JeanJean is safe in PAP today. His brother Lamou who lives across the street ended up not being able to find his wife and kids, and said it was difficult to get through the cities, there are bodies everywhere. The media is reporting only on PAP, but surrounding towns (Jacmel, Carrefour, etc) were destroyed also.

If you want to see where I am, plug this into Google Earth. 19.296838°, -72.072775°. The aerial photo was taken before Kristie & JeanJean bought this plot of land. The own the large patch of tree you see in the photo.


  1. Here's another site that might be useful for people with missing relatives and or people who want to check in with family.

  2. Thanks for the update. So thankful you are safe and it's amazing to hear how all of you are helping in whatever ways are possible. --Rhoda

  3. Hi Debbie,

    SO glad you are safe!!! We send our prayers to ALL. I think I told you that Shann's mother is in the process of adopting a 14 year old girl from Haiti...we have heard that she is safe, although the compound where she lives is no longer usable, and that the adoptions that are in process are all approved. Hopefully they can get her to the states soon. Keep up the good work that you are doing. Wish we could be doing more to help! Take care and keep up the posts. Love, Stephanie

  4. Been thinking about you! Glad you are safe and able to help those in need.