I just got off the phone with Diego and Mike.
Diego was shopping for pasta, rice, water, meat and cookies on Friday and Saturday. Today, along with other supplies shipped to the Island, Mike and Diego, along with security, distributed most of what they could carry 25 miles into Northern Haiti. What follows is Mike's description of what he is seeing.
The area is a war zone, it is a forgotten land. The air is filled with flies. The truck was left back someways because we were mobbed by people that came out from everywhere. We are now distributing using 3- and 4-wheelers. What we have left is water and macaroni. The people are not violent, they are in great need. They are thankful for the food, water and clothing. "Rotario, Rotario, Rotario" was chanted by the people. There is no running water. The people are using the river as an open sewer. They are swimming in the same river, washing in it and also drinking from it. Hygiene makes me think of what it might have been back in the 1700's. It is not good here.
By the time you receive this update, Mike, Diego and his hired security will have left Haiti. I told Mike that the priority of this work is safety. If the truck is mobbed step away, step away.
Mike has my video camera and Diego is also taking photos. Mike told me the video will make us cry. I told Mike that yes, the video may make us cry but it will also make us proud to be Rotarians.
Rotary Club of the Caldwells
The referenced video will be shared with you on this site when it becomes available. Financial donations as well as donations of food, medical triage supplies, baby formula, sandals and light weight clothing are still urgently needed and are being shipped regularly for distribution. As you can see, we are personally ensuring that these donations make it into the hands of those in dire need. Details on how to make a donation can be found in the last post. We are extremely grateful to those who are making this work possible through your generosity and humanity.