Today’s guest post is by Ruth, aka Mrs. W., the better writer in the family.
Hurricane Sandy came ashore.
Dozens dead. More dozens missing. Thousands homeless. Damage and repair costs in the hundreds of millions. Transportation crippled. Livelihoods destroyed or at risk. Infrastructure wiped out. Government in crisis. A population of in the range of 10,000,000 souls thrown into chaos once again, while still in recovery, still living with the ghosts of that earlier devastating hit.
Hurricane Sandy’s ‘hype’ has given way to the reality of trying to clean up the mess and put lives back together.
Oh, sorry. Did you think I meant New York?
Haiti and neighbors such as Cuba and The Dominican have been ploughed under yet again. And yet again they’re stumbling to their feet, shaking the mud out of their hair and looking around, wondering what the heck happened. The images are horrific. The statistics are numbing.
Most American and Canadian news coverage in the last few days has been focused so close to home that we’ve heard little about the three day drenching that has damaged more than 70 percent of Haiti’s food supply and created fears of a cholera epidemic like the one after the great earthquake. The epidemic that killed 7,000 people.
The poor are getting poorer.
New York has suffered a terrible blow. They have lost good and beloved people. Homes. Businesses. Entire neighborhoods. It’s easy to look at the pictures online of a damaged roller coaster and a yacht on the train tracks and forget that our friends to the south are genuinely suffering far more than just inconvenience. They are grieving and wondering how to rebuild.
But, like we in Canada, they are among the wealthiest people in the world. The poorest American is richer than the bulk of the people in other parts of the world. We have resources and forces and systems in place that are effective and well trained. Haitians have no such reservoir to draw from.
It’s time to look further than the six o’clock news and see the need that is born out of need. Lack upon lack. New York will take time to put things together again. Haiti doesn’t have that luxury.
New York needs our prayers and encouragement. Haiti needs our support. Food, medicine, building supplies. Find out how you can help.
~ Ruth Wilkinson