Sitting in the wake

I’m feeling drained right now. I was fine until a few hours ago. I think the adrenaline is wearing off and I’m hitting crash point. I didn’t realize how stressed I was about things around us until we sat down to dinner. 

The bullet updated of what we’ve found out or seen in the last 24 hours in the wake of Hanna:
  • Woke up this morning to find a beach covered in debris that had washed down from the local rivers. We’re talking large parts of trees. Many of them. The entire beach for as far as I could see looked like the coast of BC covered in driftwood. Never seen anything like it here.
  • Chris and Matt drove around again this morning. The local rivers were well above any level they had ever seen them at before.
  • The foot bridge up the Pierre Payen corridor got wiped out completely. People have no way of getting across there now. Our guard, who lives up in that area, had to walk over the mountain and down to get to work today.
  • One of our employees was thrown off his bed in the middle of the night last night when a boulder 5 feet in diameter loosened from the hillside behind his home and rolled into his house, breaking a huge hole in the back wall and hitting his bed. Thankfully no one was hurt. Unfortunately the boulder is too big to move and wont break up. This family has no choice but the take what they can salvage from their rock and mud house, and find another place to live. When I asked Michel what they would do he said that they would trust God to give them another home. There was another boulder that rolled down right beside the first. I was so sad as I stood there looking at his crushed home, and I felt helpless. 
  • We got word early this evening that the Montrouis bridge is slowly collapsing. This is the bridge on Route 1 Nationale, the national highway that connects most of the northern part of the country with the south. There are no other routes through our area. The middle support on the bridge is being washed out. If it collapses millions of people will be cut off from the south, and most importantly the capital. That means no food and supplies arriving by road. No one moving in or out. We are unfortunately on the wrong side of the bridge right now. We’re hoping that between the UN and the Dominican company that’s doing the new road work someone will figure out how to repair the bridge quickly. 
  • Matt and Chris left the house just before 8 pm to go help a local orphanage move the supplies that it just bought in Port au Prince today from the bridge to the orphanage. The police are letting people walk across, but no vehicles. They had two trucks of stuff on one side and will carry it across where the guys will load it and take it up to the orphanage. 
  • Our house has 4 open windows coming out of the roof. In a good storm it means the rain manages to find it’s way in. This evening our floors were dry for the first time in two days.
  • Olivia has been super needy over the last few days. Not eating well, sleeping lots and not wanting to be put down. We’re wondering if she’s got some bug, on top of feeling the stress and uncertainty of all that’s happened in the last two days.
  • Neither Chris nor I have slept well for the last few nights. Too many thundering waves, endless rain and things in our heads.
  • I keep thinking about all the fields that have been wiped out and am scared to see what’s going to happen on the food front. People were hungry before, but this is a whole other beast.

The Montrouis river at about 7 am today.

The beach this morning.

In a nutshell, Haiti is a mess. Thinking about IKE heading our way has me feeling anxious and worried. I don’t even want to think about the possibilities. As an organization we’re going to be sending our workers out on foot up the corridor here in Pierre Payen to find out if people need or want filters and we’ll be selling them at a very reduced price to try and get them to people that need them ASAP. 

Please be praying for everyone here. Chris just heard that the main bridge between Gonaives and Cap Haitian is out, so another part of the country is cut off. In all the years that Chris has been here he’s never seen the weather be this bad. It’s a very helpless feeling. Today he’s been sort of flitting about, I think from stress energy because there’s so much going on and we’re essentially sitting here on our hands waiting to see what or if we have a part in anything in the coming weeks. Thankfully we have about 200 filters on the ground and the capacity to be building about 10 a day if needed. That is if the supplies are available. 

Adding to my stress level right now is the fact that I’m set to fly out on Tuesday to be in BC on Wednesday so I can stand up in my friend’s wedding on Saturday. The thought of not being able to get to the airport is stressful.
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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

4 thoughts on “Sitting in the wake

  1. Leslie: God will walk beside you every step. Lean on Him for your strength.This has to be so hard. We are praying for you and the people of Haiti.

  2. Bondyè gade nou!I echo the others in my prayers for you and Haitians cut off from food, family and lodging.If you get time, would you please post about what, if any, preparations the people take for hurricanes?VT

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