Saturday, January 16, 2010


In the streets of Port-au-Prince, one hears on TV and news stories, people have no food, water, shelter. Many have been sleeping in the streets, side-by-side with the bodies of those who did not survive the earthquake. At night, some sing hymns. It must be the saddest and most eerie sound ever. With the port destroyed and the small airport damaged, it's taking days for food and water to reach the blasted neighborhoods of the city. A few examples of looting -- such as the theft of bags of rice from a supermarket -- have been reported.

What would people in other countries do? Would they starve before they broke into warehouses or markets? Would men push women and children aside to grab supplies from the sporadic deliveries by truck as one TV report showed?

I think here in the US, should such a situation arise, people with guns would be defending their right to be first in line. Those of us who have no guns might be shot for whatever food we have. Isn't that why people defend their right to own guns?

I have a feeling that perhaps the people of Haiti are patient and trusting. But the information is as scarce as anything else. Grasping the extent of the disaster in Haiti is overwhelming. TV news gathering seems to reflect the chaos, not make sense of it.

This morning the NY Times had a graphic map with descriptions of the neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince and what happened there: The Magnitude of a Disaster.

1 comment:

Cynthia Bertelsen said...


I agree that we have no idea what we would do if we walked in the shoes of poor and displaced Haitians. Personally, my feeling is that civilization as we know it covers us with a thin veneer, very thin, and when something threatens our basic need for food, for survival, we revert to using our lower brain.