Saturday, January 16, 2010

Disaster Update: Day 4

In contrast to the situation in PAP, the UN is guiding the relief efforts in les Cayes, and will be coordinating and providing a platform for the efforts of all the NGOs working in the area. That's a very good thing. It is chaotic in PaP and chaos always leads to waste. The UN military from Uraguay have set up a tent city in the town's soccer field where the refugees are being gathered and fed. We have committed 25% of our food supply to the refugees. There is no fuel left for purchase in Cayes and the UN has very little left. The UN folks are not sure when food and fuel will be delivered. All of us are nervous about this. EdH will be out of fuel tonight or tomorrow which means no electricity. No fuel for us means no generator. Not the best situation especially at night for obvious security reasons.
There was a commercial flight on Tortugair this afternoon from Cap Haitian to Cayes, and they delivered a group of 8 orthopedic surgeons to work at the hospital. This was a Rotary-sponsored trip. Rotary is also involved at the hospital to improve the working conditions and space. 70% of the cases being seen are orthopedic, so the arrival of the surgeons was wonderful news. Although Espwa could support a medical team right now, the situation could be entirely different in a week and what happens when we have no fuel? We are outside the city where the doctors are needed. Hopital Brenda Strafford and the General Hospital are working as a team-- something I've never seen before.
Food prices are skyrocketing, as predicted. There has been discussion of moving children form PAP to Espwa, and we are willing to take them; transportation is being worked out, and it is not known how many will come or when. Two orphanages have asked for help so we are working on the logistics of this now. We will need lots of money to do this work. Cash is still what we need the most.
Sogebank, our financial institution, may be operational on Monday but is nonfunctional now. How do we access money? We are exploring various options like Western Union. We'll find a way, I am sure, and Nathalie is looking into this.

As you saw in the last post we have our hands full with caring for our 680 children but we cannot stand by in the face of this horrific disaster. As the people arrive here from the destroyed capitol we will assist them in any way we can. Some need money to go on to family on the coast or inland; some require medical attention; all are hungry and thirsty; almost all need clothing and shoes along with personal hygiene items. A simple thing like letting this young woman use my cell phone to call her mother and tell her she was all right and in Cayes was momentous for her and her mother. All this requires money. We are very grateful for the generous response we have received from you, our supporters. You allow us to be caring to these most unfortunate people.

We are not alone here. There are several NGOs working together to alleviate the suffering of God's people in Haiti. With the almost total annihilation of the seat of government, it is difficult to predict how this will work out and how long it will take to restore things. We are committed to do all we can to make that happen. May God bless all our efforts.


  1. I was part of the group scheduled to arrive in Les Cayes on Wednesday with Dee. Since we cannot be there to help, I will do my best here to spread the word about what is needed at Vilaj Espwa and do my best to raise funds. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Trisha Leuer

  2. One of the stories that is reported in all four Gospels is the miracle of the loaves and the fishes. Sound familiar.
    Good luck and God Bless all your efforts on behalf of all us up here who are wishing we could be there to help

  3. I would like to make a small donation to Father Mark's Orphanage. How do I do that? I want to help out with what I can.

  4. To donate, visit