Cross-posted from San Diego State University’s blog:
Our time helping in Haiti, while very intense, was a small snippet of what is being provided by thousands of individuals and organizations helping that country. Everyone we met had a common goal, that is perhaps why we became friends so quickly and continue to communicate.
This airlift was a grass roots effort, started by those of us who had the time, skills, finances, and drive to help. In other disasters I was only able to help from afar, or to deliver a few supplies. The immersion into the actual environment was a dramatic change for our team, and myself. Since we didn’t have tremendous overhead, or processes, we were able to deliver pinpoint support in a fraction of the time. Others may dismiss us as amateurs, however I know we made a difference.
Haiti needs to rebuild, and the people want to be as self-sufficient as possible. In order to do that, they will continue to need external help (we’re going back!) and employment in many sectors including manufacturing, construction, and of course tourism. While some may criticize the cruise ships for including Haiti in their itinerary, I applaud them since they offer an opportunity for individuals to sell goods and services to the passengers. Perhaps the rebuilding of buildings, and infrastructure will help employ sufficient numbers of people that will stimulate their country and improve the skills of the workers.
The spring rains will come soon and we can only hope that sufficient shelter and supplies will be available to the Haitians.
Blog posts from days 7, 8, 9 and the flight home:
Thanks to all for the support, warm wishes and love. We’re looking forward to the next steps in helping them rebuild.