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Heavy Heart…Back in New York…Relocating to Haiti in two weeks!

February 7, 2010

I just came back to New York yesterday morning.  I was dead tired after spending 24 hours traveling from Haiti to DR, yet as soon as I got home I began coordinating, working and reading, and staying on top of the latest information.  Today, I continue to catch up with my NY network and cannot stop with Richard Morse’s twitter updates, which was the reason I initially upped and went to Haiti in the first place.  If you haven’t signed on to twitter, you will after reading ramhaiti posts.

I stepped out today to buy a few things, groceries, laundry detergent, etc and nothing looks the same to me anymore.  The field behind my house, and the baseball field alsongside the church down the block, the parking lot even, reminds me of the open space that used to exist in Haiti.  It all reminds me of Champs Mars when it was just Champs Mars, reminds me of Place Jeremie and Place St Pierre and all the plazas and soccer fields of Port-au-Prince when they were just that.  I saw the structures down the streets and the lights and the cars and couldn’t help but think of how normal Haiti used to be.  How streets were just streets, and how space was simply space.  I then began to think of how my work in Haiti is invaluable right now.  The access and the coordinating and the logistical work that I was (am) doing is priceless and directly saved lives.  I got a call and email last night even, about a baby that desperately needs to have surgery and only a few operations in the world can do this…I got the call from a journalist friend in Haiti asking me to coordinate and help.  The medical team, my friend Masani Accime, David Pierre Louis, and a slew of other people mentioned and photographed in my previous posts all equate to life saving and direct impact relief measures.

For the next two weeks, until February 22nd, 2010 my heart is heavy, yet I know that I need to be in New York.  Before I left to Haiti I had already picked up 300 pair of childrens shoes and other items in preparation for my summer in Haiti.  Last summer I volunteered with COHEF, Global Potential, became familiar with the work of Viva Rio and SOIL.  I am grateful that I was able to connect and spend time in the country that runs through my veins to witness the beauty, and I am grateful because now I am able to truly provide.  This catastrophe is a call to home and I am preparing within these two weeks.

This is where you come in:

I plan on setting up a bagay dwol relief fund, so that as the film is screened around the world people can directly make an impact by supporting Unicef and contribute to a fund that will allow me to continue to work with the communities and get them the aid that is slowly being dispersed.  Please have faith in the aid agencies.  We need that energy and not anger.  Everyone I have met with in Haiti is working to the bone.  There is no link between the community and the major relief organizations (I was told this myself from a very big and important aid organization), which is why the work that I am doing is important.  Once I set up the relief fund I will call on YOU to support it and directly support the people of Haiti.  Of course, I will continue to post photos and share the experience with you as aI have been doing everyday (when possible) these past three weeks.

The next step is to coordinate where I will live and where I will store all the items that I have at home and that people are trusting me to disperse on their behalf.

I will also be hosting a sendoff/sell my vintage and fabulous items.  Anyone that knows me knows that I am a vintage clothing and shoes (mainly boots) collector.  Well now its all yours.  I need none of it.  I just need to be in Haiti and be able to support myself for one month while I look for work.  I have been working hard at applying for positions that are in the coordinating/logistics sector because this is what I do best.  I will not dip into the relief funds for myself.  That money (100 percent of it) will go directly towards the communities I will work with.

I can’t say that my life is the same, and I can say that I have been preparing for this for some time now.  Between working on outreach for the film, knowing communities and local organizations on the ground (who were the first responders) and being groomed through my work in NY with Creative Connections, I am exactly what Haiti needs right now.  My heart remains heavy until I get there.  I added a few photos from last summer…in joy.

In Solidarity,

Regine

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