Posted by: posthaiti | January 27, 2010

dire medical sitch, carnivale as healer, more

i have so many thoughts tonight, and not enough time or energy to write them properly. so, a list of sorts, to be followed up on shortly:

1. anderson cooper and CNN’s coverage in general = amazing. i have a newfound respect for the man.

2. the medical sitch on the ground = nightmarish. even with consulting PIH and other extremely well connected and well versed agencies that have been working as docs in the country for years, teams of vols have been blown away by the chaos and lack of logistical support on the ground; by the utter lack of tools, supplies, and places to perform medicine; and by the mismanagement of incoming flights of supplies by the thugs, i mean, american militoire on the ground, numbers reaching close to 20,000. here’s a blog post and an article at CNN that recounts the exhausting situation faced by probably ALL the docs down there right now. my friends are with project medishare, and i’ve heard conflicting opinions on how well organized they are. still, i just got an email back from them and am going to apply to vol in the near future.

(on a side note, here’s the summary of HODR’s assessment, at least for the PAP area:

The damage is massive; entire areas of homes destroyed. There will not be an opportunity for general volunteers, for us or any other organization, for weeks to come. The medical situation seems stabilized.)

3. i’ve read on twitter that there is speculation and/or a high probability that carnivale is off this year. some complain that canceling such a positive, community-building event just plain sucks. maybe carnivale is just what haitians need? here are a few pics — with many more to come — of some of the ateliers i was fortunate enough see while i was in jacmel (thanks to my “tour guide” and artisan himself, tek tek, pictured in the first photo). they were busy preparing the masks that parade-goers wear, which is a laborious, months-long process. such beauty:

4. vodou: i’m not sure how much i want to (or should) reveal of the THREE-DAY ceremony i got to attend, but in preparation for processing that experience i’m going to start by watching the movie version of the book, Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti by Maya Deren. it’s a fascinating religion, in part because it’s so mysterious not only to outsiders, but to those who practice it. in tribute, here’s a pic of a painting of the vodou goddess, la sirene, hanging on the wall at the hotel oloffson. the hotel continues to provide beds/mattresses on the street, water, food, and electricity/internet to journalists from all over the world who are covering the quake. yep, hotel owner richard morse officially rocks. subscribe to his excellent twitter feed here.

on tomorrow’s agenda: aside from writing more, going to my first bikram yoga class (well, in NYC), and hitting the treadmill, i plan to attend a state of the union address meetup. most are held at bars, NYC style (of COURSE! i mean, what a great opp to have a few cocktails!), and i’ll be at the imcomparable moe’s in fort greene. hope to see you there!

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