Whenever I tell someone that I went to Haiti they inevitably ask me the same question:
How does it look?
I don’t know why but I’m always taken aback at this question and I think, “Well, how should it look?”
How should a country look after being devastated by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. We know how LA looked after an earthquake of about the same magnitude hit it in 2004. Well, it looked just about fine. Check out this earthquake image from a few hours after the quake.
Um see a difference? Yeah, I can’t even tell there was an earthquake in the California picture. Basically since most of the buildings in Haiti were made of crushable cement, it’s no surprised that the entire city of Port-au-Prince crumbled into dust.
There are still structures standing. Like the hospital ran by the Haitian-based arm of the United States Foundation for the Children of Haiti, it’s still standing but many repairs are needed. (You can donate at here if you want. They’re a really cool organization.)
People are shocked that there aren’t buildings being erected as we speak but they just do not understand the situation in Haiti right now. Here’s the skinny:
1. There’s no real functioning government. The current is president is a lame duck – he won’t be reelected in November.
2. There’s no real functioning police force. Private security guards, the military and UN blue helmets keep the peace but there’s no 911 you can dial.
3. Businesses that are up and running mostly cater to the basic necessities – food, drink, clothing etc.
4. The roads were bad before the earthquake and now they have 12-foot size craters in them.
5. There’s no street lights at night.
As my mother would say, Haiti is in a state of flux.