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Quotes from the Haiti Experience

May 21, 2010

I’ll be providing an update on the past week very soon.  In the meantime, here’s a glimpse into the situation in Haiti via quotes from conversations and meetings since I have been here on the ground (January 14, 2010).

“A man was chasing a woman with a knife throughout the camp.  She used to work for him and now they are both living in Champs Mars, at the same level.  And so every time he gets drunk or wants to vent out his frustration, he takes it out on her.”

– Gender Based Violence Haitian Volunteer

Champs Mars

“So who are you with?”

-Cluster meetings when I begin to talk about the situation in Carrefour Feuilles, the red zone.


“The people who have toilets are deciding where and who should have toilets.  The people who have homes are deciding who should have a home and where.”

-ORAC meeting

Carrefour Feuilles, Oloffson Hotel

“O-J-F-A Toujou la! Organisation de Jeunes Filles en Action!”

-OJFA orphans

Carrefour Feuilles

“Hope is like a light.  Sometimes you don’t see it but you can’t give up on it because sometimes its far ahead and you just can’t see it.  Don’t ever give up on your dreams.”

-Emeline Michel at OJFA

Carrefour Feuilles

“People with cars don’t want to rent just the car because they think you will make money driving for someone else, so they offer themselves as a chauffeur.”

-Trying to rent a car in Haiti


“I still haven’t dealt with what I have experienced and saw and did.  I saw so many people have breakdowns and I know that I have not found a way to deal with it yet.”

-Haitian American friends living in Haiti describing their mental health after witnessing the devastation of January 12th and thereafter.

Oloffson Hotel

“In order to work I had to pretend that it wasn’t my mother that died.  We were lucky to find her body, and dig her out and give her a proper burial.  We were traveling with the body for several days and it started to smell.  I had to pretend it was someone else to keep going.  I still haven’t dealt with that.”

-Young woman on the death of her mother- A leader in womens rights who lost her life during the earthquake.

Olofsson Hotel

“We have to make sure that they follow through because a lot of times the work is not done but I can imagine their stress.  They are all living in camps or still in tents!  If I was in their shoes, I would never be able to function.”

-Program Manager supporting national Haitian agency dealing with human rights


I think I’ll keep adding to the list and share insightful quotes that sum up the daily beauties and challenges with everyone.  Tonight I am feeling blessed and grateful.

Much love & light

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