Hurricane Matthew landed in Haiti on Tuesday, October 4, 2016. HFHF’s founder, Elade Eloi, traveled to Haiti shortly thereafter. Here is our latest update from Elade.
You may remember that I was going to try to make it to Zorangé yesterday (Oct 12).
Yes I made it. I landed in PAP at 8:00 a.m. and at 6:30 p.m. (only 10.5 hrs later) I got off a horse that carried me the last 11 miles to Zorangé and sat down and did not move for the next hour.
Along the way I was constantly reminded how amazingly resilient that the beautiful of Haiti are. Although I think this word is overused, I do think it fits us.
The people are moving on. They are not expecting some FEMA-like help to ever arrive here. They have lost their next harvest. They have lost more trees than you can imagine and can’t afford to lose. They have their homes damaged. Seven of our church members have lost part or all of their shelter. But the community continues to plow through. They find ways to share what they have with whom ever comes or stops by. Some of the fields are barren for now. The plantain trees are down, but just like before the people out here, far away from the hustle and bustle of PAP, will continue to plow through and find ways to smile and laugh. I enjoyed some laughter when I got here yesterday.
At 8 p.m. I met with our leaders to get a good sense of what the chatter is about the road, the rivers, the postponed election etc.
So, as of today, vehicles have not made it to our area yet. We have two volunteers who have been here the last two weeks, I told them last night that we will either walk 5 miles or 11 miles to a car. I am hoping it is 5 miles. By 11pm last night the chatter continues and we may only walk three miles to the old Jeep Wrangler and get in it to go to Bainet. But all of this is chatter and we will find out today how we get to Bainet.
The river “road” is out of the question now. Not just because the river is full of life and vigor but because we could barely navigate our way on a horse and there isn’t a way yet cars/trucks will make it here. But I’m totally confident that this activity will resume–trucks making it to Zorangé. Timing TBD.
Feeding Program: I’m excited to say that Campbell University (Dr. Tillman you are awesome!) has raised 70% of the $10,500 that is needed to feed the kids for the next 7 months of the school year! You cannot imagine my happiness about this amazing news! Especially hearing over and over how some of these kids, in good times, their parents can’t afford to feed them and let alone now.
Relief for the Community: The next few weeks the team will do their assessment to walk around as rivers are passable, and talk and meet with people. During the assessment they will hand out tickets to the people that will need help the most, to come to a meeting at our site. There our team will share a plan on how we’re going to help, some people with shelter, food and perhaps both. This will be determined after the assessment. This is repeating what we did after the earthquake in 2010.
One of our leaders who took part of the post 2010 earthquake relief effort, was reminded by one of the people that received help and this is what the person said: only Unifiee (this is how we are referenced here by part our school name) has come through after the earthquake by helping us with cements to help us rebuild our house”. Most of the people received 5 bags of cement at that time. They remember this.
No one gets here and only the crazy ones do–you are all amazingly crazy.
You are so patient. Thank you for reading to this point.
Our school is standing. Our church is standing and so is one of our clinic (Zorangé). Today I will visit the Gandou clinic (I am hoping) to see how it fared. We still have not been able to get there from Zorangé.
We will also attempt to get these ladies to Bainet today so that we can get to PAP airport and come home to their loved ones. By the way they’re still smiling.
We will go on! Our people will be ok. They will continue to impress us with their joy and laughter because of their zest for life! We will continue to come along side of them and partner with them. Zorange has become a model for Haiti, a statement made by one of big
government official, a senator and a congressman who made their way here once during an election-only during an election period.
Next up for us Bainet with the university and trade school etc. Thank you for your partnership. About 3 years from now we will have university graduates that came from our school and we hope by 5 to 7 years after that they will lead the school in Zorange and Bainet–that would be about 26 years–basically, with unending determination, we will have a new generation of leaders from Zorangé and soon to be Bainet.
Are there other Zorange’s beside Bainet? Yes indeed and this is entirely a different discussion.
Have an amazing day! I love you guys for steadfastness!
Let’s continue to be willing and let God do the rest!
If you would like to donate to help our friends and family in Haiti, visit our donate page, click “Hurricane Relief”