If I were at home in Montana this winter, the sorrow that is Haiti would be nothing more than some occasional conversation over coffee. A footnote of well-meaning but mostly uneducated comments; an expression of sympathy in the form of a check to the Red Cross; and a good night’s sleep after a nice dinner with friends at La Provence or Showthyme.
But being less than 300 miles distant from the epicenter, with many of my co-workers still uncertain if the silent family member is dead or alive, or worse, slowly dying without food or water, the tragedy is immediate and the impact visceral.
My first reaction on hearing the news and seeing it in the faces of those in this small community of St. John, was to hi-jack the first boat heading west and offer my assistance … a lone, English-only speaking white woman would save the day or at least try. A romantic, if absolutely insane idea, but there it was. Luckily there was no such boat in the harbor and common sense returned, along with a much more focused idea for offering what assistance I could.
What follows is an account of events that have happened over the past week, are occurring now, and which the outcome is yet unknown…a journal as such, chronicling my attempt to assist a Dutch foundation, Heart for Haiti, secure food for their 400 children and staff in the Port au Prince suburb of Bon Repos.