Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Wrong side of the island
I was working at a medical mission near the border last week when the earthquake hit. It felt small and we didn't know if it was anything serious because we were essentially cut off from outside communication. Eventually people started calling the director of the mission checking if their family members were ok, that was our first clue to the severity of the quake. Based on Dominican News and radio broadcasts from the Bahamas we found out that it was a 7.0 and that the capital of Haiti was in ruins. The work we were doing for the sick Dominicans seemed almost irrelevant when we compared assisting someone with back pain and high blood pressure versus the millions of displaced Haitians that were without food, water or a home. Volunteers were practically banging their heads against walls (some harder than others) to find a way to help the people over there, sadly after a couple days and consultation from our director it was clear that there is not a lot that we can do. I was put in the Dominican Republic to do development work, which is very different from relief work in Haiti. I am hoping that in the coming months something will develop and I will have an opportunity to help, but for now I am sitting on my hands.