Thursday, 25 February 2010

"Why does the earth move?"

The children of the SOS Children's Village in Santo ran screaming from their houses last night, utterly terrified. The traumatic experience of the earthquake is still very fresh in the children's minds, and when the earth started moving again during yesterday's aftershock, they panicked. They spent the rest of the night in tents and didn't dare go back inside the houses until the next morning, when some of them went cautiously back inside. The fear of a second heavy quake is ever-present. I had gone to bed very late myself and would therefore have slept through the whole thing if it hadn't been for Jean, a Haitian volunteer who shook me awake and dragged me outside. This morning, a little boy with tears of rage running down his cheeks asked me why I thought the earth moved sometimes, if all it achieved was to scare people. When he saw that I couldn't give him an answer, he stomped his foot on the ground as hard as he could, as if saying "Don't you dare do that again, or else!"

Aside from the aftershock, something else occurred last night that deeply troubled me. One of the drivers working for SOS Children's Villages here in Haiti was shot, his condition is still critical. It must have happened close to the UN base. Luckner was getting on his pick-up truck with a bag of groceries when a man brandishing a gun started banging against his window. Luckner stepped on the accelerator and the man fired. With a bullet lodged in his back, Luckner just barely made it to the UN base before he ran the car into a lamp post. Today, the staff gathered and prayed for his life. Songs were sung in Spanish, French and Creole and all attending whispered their hopes for him into a candle. As the population here grows more desperate, the situation becomes more threatening.

1 comment:

  1. Thankyou for keeping us updated now when the news do not pay any attention anymore. I do not understand why so many people still have no access to food? Looking forward to hear from you again.