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Jounen jèn — Days of remembrance: Letters from Port-au-Prince

Friday February 12, one month after the earthquake, the first day of Jounen jèn, the days of mourning and remembrance, and we walked through the twisted iron and dusty shards of glass of the shattered National Cathedral. As we crossed through the open door and stared down the length of the cathedral it was as though the world had ended and even the wind had disappeared into the silence of the rubble. Just blocks away, in front of the crumbling palace, thousands of people dressed in white were singing songs of grief and praise, but inside the National Cathedral, on this ...

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Hope Rising from the Ashes — Letters from Port-au-Prince

Driving through the city with the sun beating down and the smoke and dust blurring my vision, I am soaked in sweat and still the goosebumps rise over my skin.  It is as if the souls of those still buried under the rubble are coursing through my veins, reaching for the sun, yearning to be free. I carry them with me as I ride through this broken city, but I can’t let them out, I am so afraid that they will take me with them to a place where I will no longer be able to serve, my mind is numb but my skin is crawling with loss. This morning I returned to Mon Nazar for the ...

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Fear Slows Relief Efforts in PAP

To our dear friends and supporters who have been so present through this difficult time.  I feel like I have a wall of love and protection around me knowing that you are all holding Haiti in your thoughts and prayers. I apologize for not having written for the past few days, it is partly that life here is so hectic and fast paced and partly because I find that writing about the situation brings all my emotions to the surface and brings me to a vulnerable space that can be rather overwhelming.  That said, I so want to be able to share with all of you what we are experie...

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Phone Calls to Haiti

Dear Friends, I apologize for my silence over the last week or so.  I am just too devastated to be able to write anything coherent.  Kevin is recovering from malaria and is now able to spend more of a day off the couch than on it.  We are trying to keep in touch and do what we can from the US. I finally got through to Haiti by phone last night for the first time. Estimable Francius Dauphin, aka Jhonny, the mayor of Borgne, reports that people from Borgne who had been living in Port au Prince are starting to return to their families in the countryside. The ...

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Kouraj Cheri: Update from PAP

This afternoon, feeling helpless, we decided to take a van down to Champs de Mars (the area around the palace) to look for people needing medical care to bring to Matthew 25, the guesthouse where we are staying which has been transformed into a field hospital.  Since we arrived in Port-au-Prince everyone has told us that you cannot go into the area around the palace because of violence and insecurity.  I was in awe as we walked into downtown, among the flattened buildings, in the shadow of the fallen palace, amongst the swarms of displaced people there was calm and ...

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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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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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