In Septemeber 2008, I traveled 6000 miles to Haiti's Kenscoff mountains. My mission: to care for some of the orphaned and abandoned, the sick, malnourished and premature infants of this beautiful but beleagured Caribbean nation.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Freezing Rain

'Is it like this where you live?' my roommate asked our driver. we were hopeful that it was just our mountain community living in a cloud. For four days, it has rained without ceasing; sometimes a drizzle, at other times a down pour. 'It is exactly like this in the city'. our driver told my roommate.

On Friday afternoon, we admitted a 2 and a half year old boy. He was wearing fabric shoes, and the were soaked through. His dungarees has acted like a wick. From his feet to his knees, he was wet and muddy, and so, so cold! I thought of the people in the IDP camps or 'tent cities' for internally displaced people, then.

I thought of them again as I shivered last night getting ready for bed. There was a sudden drop in temperature. It was 10 degrees centigrade. In velour PJ's, and under a sheet and a duvet, I was still cold. I reached for a fleece blanket, and wondered whether Haiti's homeless masses had blankets to keep out the cold. I know that some do not even have tents, and I imagine that in this 100% humidity, the blankets, if they have them, will be damp. The ground underneath them will be wet and muddy. Further up the mountain, in Kenscoff, temperatures may even be approaching freezing point. I am sure that many children will become ill from exposure. I do not doubt that babies will die....

It was difficult to sleep last night, with the thoughts that were running through my head. I long for the arrival of the shipping containers, that I know are on the way, containing tents, tarps, blankets and warm clothing. They are so desperately needed.

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