Earthquake Update

Apologies if these upcoming posts seem unpolished…that is because they are…we barely have time to write and internet is patchy so I will do what I can to get out information but I don’t promise eloquence. Love to you all and know that we are safe and taking precautions. Last night we (myself, Cat Laine, Paul Namphy, Wisnel Jolissaint, Lisius Orel and Baudeler Magloire) arrived in Port-au-Prince just before sunset.  As we came into the city with our truck piled full of water, gas, shovels and food we got a flat tire.  The news reports of looting have been so ...

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SOIL Earthquake Response

I am writing to you tonight with a heavy heart. In one night our world changed in Haiti.  When the earthquake struck I was at the SOIL house in Cap Haitien with a group of students from the University of Miami, Florida International University and Notre Dame.  We were incredibly lucky in Cap-Haitien and although the whole city shook, there was no major damage. As soon as the phones went dead I began to worry about Port-au-Prince.  One of the students had a blackberry and we were able to get the news that the earthquake was very serious and centered around the capital...

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San Francisco Bay View: One Year Ago the City Collapsed

By Sasha Kramer, San Francisco Bay View, January 12, 2011 One year ago this morning millions of Haitians rose to greet the cool January sunshine. They walked the streets of Port au Prince, on their way to work, through the damp corridors of the capital. The National Palace towered over Champs Mars and the bells of the National Cathedral greeted the market women who gathered long before sunrise. Thousands of mothers kissed their children goodbye for the day and hundreds of schools throughout the capital echoed with the voices of students eager to learn after the Christmas ...

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The New York Times: A Most Meaningful Gift Idea by Nicholas D. Kristof

By Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times December 23, 2009 Are the kids demanding the latest murder-and-mayhem video game? Do your loved ones have all the neckties/bottles of perfume/sweaters that can be used in a lifetime? Tired of celebrating spiritual holidays with crass commercialism? If so, then perhaps it’s time to try a different kind of gift. After all, nothing says “happy holidays” like donating in Aunt Tilda’s name to build a composting toilet in Haiti or to deworm kids in Kenya. And a deworming pill will never be regifted! This time of year I’m ...

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SOIL’s New Digs!

Welcome to the snazzy new SOIL web site brought to you courtesy of our most recent addition to the SOIL team, web guru Nadine Mondestin. What you see here is the fruit of six months of gruelling virtual labour - we hope you like it. Thanks to those of you who have patiently encouraged us to update our online presence, and we won't disappoint you - you can expect to unearth fresh dirt on SOIL on a much more regular basis. We want to give special thanks to webmaster Danny K. who donated his time and incredible skills over the past three years to maintain our original ...

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Reed Magazine: Madness and Sanitation in Haiti

By Matt Davis, Reed Magazine, Summer 2009 In the annals of public relations, it must be reckoned a signal achievement to persuade a skeptical New York Times reporter to stick his nose in a bucket of poop. But Sasha Kramer ’99 pulled off this reverse form of gotcha journalism with ease in March when she coaxed Pulitzer prizewinner Nicholas Kristof to sniff a handful of compost harvested from a toilet in Cap Haïtien, Haiti. Kristof had flown to Haiti to film a video series titled American Ingenuity Abroad and interviewed Sasha and cofounder Sarah Brownell about ...

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The New York Times: A Boy Living in a Car by Nicholas D. Kristof

By Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times, March 28, 2009 As America’s unemployment rate rises, those paying the severest price aren’t necessarily in Detroit or Miami. One of the newest street children here in this northern Haitian city is a 10-year-old boy whose father was working in Florida but lost his job and can no longer send money home. As a result, the family here was evicted, the mother and children went separate ways to improve their odds of finding shelter, and the boy found refuge in an abandoned wreck of a car. The boy is one of 46 million people in the ...

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National Geographic: Haiti Soil

By Joel K. Bourne, Jr., National Geographic, September 2008 But there is more at stake than simply the ability of Haitian soil to feed a starving nation. Food-importing nations around the world also are suffering as the prices of staples skyrocket, raising critical questions about the goals of agricultural-assistance programs that over the past few decades have focused more on reducing tariffs and growing crops for export than on helping poor nations feed themselves. That's as it should be, officials say. "Food self-sufficiency is not necessarily the goal," says ...

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