This journal is written as we move and travel through this deep crevice of devastation. Even in this rough and global sorrow, we find hope. This is the Global Gathering Place of love and compassion that separates us from other animals. Please, read and visualize the anguish. Perhaps lend your hand to mend the fracture.
Returning to Port au Prince Haiti 2/17/2010.
So many people in misery. The misery crushes the people running left to right not knowing where to run to or from. Must return to the 'paradise' that I may have the reason to enjoy the comfort that I already have received. Yes, it is a 'paradise' in that 'hell' on earth. God's Spirit is ever-present shouting, " comfort paradise I have, ask and your tears shall be wiped out.
Feb. 17, 2010
We arrived at DR yesterday without problem. I was concerned because of the car I reserved: other people were waiting in line to get their cars. We rented Suzuki Grand Vitara and bought whole bunch of milk, water and baby formula. We drove 6 hours and arrived at Descubierta, a border town at midnight. What do you know! NO ROOMS. But don’t be in despair. Pastor Sobel´s friend showed up waiting for 3 hours for us to arrive. We slept on the church floor with 7 other Haitian refugees.
Now this am, we are driving to Haitian border to cross will take 2-3 hours. We will go to the orphanage, Humanity First clinic, etc but I will leave the exact plans to God. I might not be able to find internet for few days: we will see. God with us. c u
Feb. 18,19,20,21,22 2010
We crossed the border to Haiti without much problem. Drove to PaP and went to UN headquarter. Asked some of US marines for some MRE and one guy said he needs it too. We drove and drove and drove 2.5 hours to find this orphanage. I was pulling by hair and to the point of pulling the steering wheel out of the car. Then we asked a guy passing by and he said, ¨ wee, there are some white people working down the street¨¨ Vuala, we finally found whole bunch of American guys constructing collapsed wall at the orphanage (Maison de Enfantes de Dieu).
We found 50 infants and children staying in tents while the ´white guys are rebuilding the damage. We delivered 20 big bags of dry milk, baby formula, etc. We provided medical care to the kids and the workers of in the orphanage.
We went to Humanity First and worked with the doctor group for 2 days. There were additional 3 nurses and 2 doctors from US arrived the same day. I didn’t know you could cook Ra Men noodle and pigeon peas together. Well, I ate it.... gotta survive.
We also went to another orphanage to give medical care. This one was bad: there were no food, no nothing and the living condition ... just so BAD.
We visited and gave some cash donation to REMAR boy’s orphanage. They were also living in tents.
The whole city is still in chaos. No dead bodies but there are so many people on streets, noise, and TENT everywhere. U gotta watch where u walk because there are so many pot holes enough to be your grave if you fall in there. You can just put up a tombstone or sign with your name on it.
So we are back in Descubierta and are leaving to DR sugarcane batey, Carmona. We will do medical and provide some food there.
Feb. 22, 2010
Never take a short cut if you are not sure. According to the map, we could by-pass the capital to Carmona therefore the traffic. What a drive! 10 hours through this mountain dirt roads and hills. We left Descubierta at 9 am and arrived in Carmona at 8 pm. We did not know we arrived in Carmona until we asked. We checked into Hotel Nuevo as before and passed out.
Feb. 23, 2010
We went to Carmona and did a medical clinic. It was good to see many familiar faces. We bought a whole bunch of food and took them to the girls in Cabeza de Toro. We came back to Santo Domingo and checked into Hotel Mango.
Feb. 24, 2010
We went out to find San Jose to do a clinic. What do you know! The map has San Jose but was a wrong one. This was the first time we are actually driving to it and it didn't look right after an hour of driving. Here we go again. We spent 2 hours driving through the dirt roads again and this one time we turned the corner, and there it was San Jose.
San Jose was worse than the last time we were there. There was nothing there before and now there was 'more nothing' than before: is this correct English? We did a clinic there and came back to Hotel Mango.
Feb. 25, 2010
Slept the whole morning and returned the Suzuki Grand Vitara, our beloved horse and came to the airport. There were so many things happened. I feel like I came out of a battlefield...
Special Progress Report on Haiti Crisis being written at the Haiti sites
Jan. 22, 2010 Friday
Arrived in Santo Domingo (SDQ) without problem and checked into Hotel Mango which was swarming with relief workers from all around the world-Israel, Canada, British, German, French, etc.
Visited the trauma center. WAR ZONE. Helicopters flying in every 15 min to a makeshift heliport at a nearby baseball field. Hospital beds and corridors full of patients. Some with half thigh gone waiting to go into operating room flies still flying around the wound site, kids screaming with their injuries, some just wondering around the hospital not knowing who and why there are there. Some just lying half naked on the hospital corridor, human waste all over the hospital... WAR ZONE.
Jan. 23, 2010 Saturday
Got up at 5 am to get ready to go to Jimani. Ran into 10-doctor medical relief team from Baltimore at the hotel. They were going left and right not knowing how to carry their medical stuff to Haiti. We loaded our truck with some of their stuff to go to their Haiti medical site. Drove 7 hours almost country road to Jimani and check into Iguana Hostel. We went to check out the border at 8 pm and ran into the team again. They once again were running left and right because one of their SUV broke down and had to sleep in UN trailer house until next day since the border was closed at 6 pm.
Jan. 24, 2010 Sunday
Got up at 3 am with full of mosquito bites and left the hostel at 6 15 am because of some problem with the truck. When we got to the UN headquarter we found out they already left. We freaked out and speed toward the border in pitch dark. There were about 100-truck convoy going through the border at same time and had to fight through cut in line. We finally found the team and joined in to the convoy. Drove about 3 hours of backbreaking road to Puerto Principe to Presidential Palace. Was a palace and now a mere concrete rubble.
Got to the palace and there was a hospital guarded by those huge US marines with automatic rifles. Some of our team member shouted that there was a dead body where we were waiting. We found a dead body half of torso gone and with only one thigh full of flies.
We finally found the teams headquarter and previous team was already seeing patients. We cleaned and redressed a little girl’s leg with her leg bone sticking out, some with whole chunk of leg tissue missing, etc.
The whole city size of Washington DC are living in blue tents and some made with bed sheets. All the buildings are unsafe to get in and some are leaning so bad, feel scared to walk in front of it. Sometime you can see almost half mile of city street because everything was leveled down. Most of the fallen buildings were still full of dead bodies in them and there is no way even try to dig out the bodies.
There was nothing in the city. Every time our truck stopped, people were asking for not money but water, water, water. Where are the hell the relief UN and US water truck that we raised so much money for? People are just sitting in their tents waiting and waiting for someone to bring water.
We came back to Jimani to get ready for another clinic.
Jan. 25, 2010 Monday
We did a clinic in Jimani also seeing some Haiti refugees fled to this border town. Once again some with whole chunk of leg muscle missing, etc. We saw about 100 patients.
We came back to SDQ.
Jan. 26, 2010 Tuesday
We revisited the hospital and met with the director. We found out that hospital ran out of milk for the kids because there were so many refugee trauma kids from Haiti. We ran down to supermarket and bought 100 lbs of dry milk ration and brought them to the hospital. I found out how heavy it was to carry the dry milk on my back. They said the dry milk we gave is sufficient for 1600 kids.
They told us Mission Ryan was the FIRST international organization to provide any type of aide.
The hospital was crazier than last Friday, more people on stretchers on corridor waiting for their turn to go into operating room. Whole 250 beds are filled and you just have to live on the stretchers on the corridors.
Jan. 27, 2010 Wed.
We went back to the hospital looking Vanessa, a 10-year-old girl flown over from Haiti to this trauma center. We ran into her mother at the border and found out that she was going to SDQ to find her daughter. She did not know whether she was dead or alive. Only thing she heard was that Vanessa was flown to one of the SDQ hospital. We asked, looked into every room, went to 2 different refugee centers but could not find her or the mother. What a sad thing; getting separated from each other not knowing whether dead or alive!
Jan. 28, 2010 Thursday
So tired but cannot stay in bed. Just laying bed thinking, praying.... Left SDQ at 4 pm back to US with so much so much to think....
Special Bulletin posted 1/20/2010
1. Mark and I will be leaving this Friday 1/22/2010 - 1/28/2010 to Dominican Republic
2. We will be accompanied by Frederick News Post journalist, Ron Cassie From here and on, it is all in God's direction and guidance
3. We will be met by DR partners, approx. 5 people.
4. We hope to purchase rice, beans, supplies, etc. in DR
5. We will be heading out toward Port au Prince with medicine we are bringing from US; they said it should take about 7-8 hours driving.
Rumor = they won't let people cross the border from either sides unless you are in a big convoy; we will see.
6. If they won't let us cross the border, then we will stay in Jimani and treat the refugees coming out of Haiti.
Jimani can be found on the map by tracing up from Haiti/DR southern border. Just follow the border up North. It is near Lago Enriquillo which is located 1/3 up from southern most tip.