Haiti revisited

21 May

I’m about five days into a one-month redeployment back to Haiti. It’s a lot of work and I have some pretty big issues to deal with. It is not my first time back to Haiti, either, since that initial six or so weeks starting back on about day 10 after the earthquake. But on this return more than on previous ones I’m getting the opportunity to kind of dig in and look closely at what is going on with Haiti, with the overall recovery effort (the relief response is long over), and organizationally.

As one would expect, there are huge changes, some good, some not so good, in the past year-plus. It is interesting to go back and read my own writing from those early days on the Haiti earthquake response, to remember that experience, and to see how my perspectives may have changed. Or not, in some cases.

Here are a few worth checking out (not in chronological order):

Screw the Outsider – So good to see that my favorite form of disaster zone passive-aggression is still going strong in Haiti.

Rain – And even now hurricane season is, once more, right around the corner…

What IS it with the SHOES? – I’ve long ago resigned myself to being surrounded by the matching “disaster response” T-shirt groups coming to Haiti to build churches and hug orphans as I board the plane in Miami. But on this trip (in addition to the matching T-shirts), I was surrounded by a gaggle of trendily matching TOMS Shoes peeps. They all seemed to have the same hoodies, scarves, shoes (duh). One guy even had a shirt which read something like, “TOMS Shoes: Haiti Shoe Drop.” a) WTF? b) I totally want one of those shirts.

Bleeding Heart – call me “bleeding heart.” You wouldn’t be totally wrong.

Civ/Mil – I do miss seeing Nepali MINUSTAH…

“A hole beneath our hearts” Data matters. And sometimes we all need to be jolted into a place from which we gain fresh perspective.

Lessons Learned – Not about Haiti, so much, but written in Haiti.

hallelujah“It’s cold and it’s a broken ‘hallelujah’…”

2 Responses to “Haiti revisited”

  1. solemu 23 May, 2011 at 7:50 pm #

    Nice to read you again🙂 All the posts are grand and reflective…my favorites: A hole beneath our hearts and hallelujah.
    BTW, did you get one of those TOM’s shirts? You should consider printing one for yourself that reads: “WTF IS it with TOM’s shoes” as a counter-campaign😉

  2. angelica 24 May, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    you just couldn’t stay away could you…

    just got an expression of interest to go and do some work there, but with my crappy french not sure I am up for it. Do have some friends based there with UNICEF if interested…

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