Friday, March 05, 2010

Heading to Haiti Today

After weeks of working the phones, blogging about the need for relief and development, and raising funds for projects, finally I’m heading to Haiti today to help with cash for food, tents, tarps, meds and a security wall around the Shalom Zone.

Christa White, an anthropologist who speaks Creole and  teaches IT at Drew, is joining me to represent Communities of Shalom at Drew; and together we are joining a mission team from Texas comprised of a doctor, psychologist, nurses, physician assistant, and other United Methodist volunteers totally 20 for a week in Mizak, Haiti.

Mizak, as you may know from previous posts, is a cluster of villages in the mountains with a total population of 35,000.  70% are living under the poverty level of $1 US per day.  63% are under the age of 18.  There's no hospital or doctor.  No educational opportunties beyond High School.  No jobs or vocational training.   There's no electricity, pluming, or water filtration.  There's subsistence farming and agricultural livelihood, but limited nutritional food.

I'm packed for a week.  Bringing protein bars, knowing rice and beans will be available for purchase).  There may be a mattress on a floor on which to sleep, but I’ve been asked to bring a sleeping bag, and a tent to use and leave behind.  I'm brining two tents to add to the tarps that have been donated.

The plan is to leave this afternoon after the Drew Faculty Meeting, fly to Miami for an overnight layover, and then head to Port-au-Prince tomorrow, arrive in Mizak in the mountains tomorrow evening, and stay for a week during Spring Break.