Heartache in Haiti: A tent is a home

By Sonny Dixon - bio | email

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI (WTOC) - Help for Haiti continues and it may be needed for a long time to come.

Let's just say it took some "negotiation" to get the truck and plane together to transfer the supplies from Savannah. Medical Infusion Technologies of Savannah donated 1500 units of provector, developed by a Georgia Southern professor.

"They attract the mosquitoes and the mosquitoes die, and so does the malaria," said Rocky Parker, president of Medical Infusion Technologies. Ninety-plus degrees before the rainy season in February makes the provector absolutely crucial.

Clement's company also donated medical supplies and tents. Balancing the available weight was difficult as we had lots of stuff to take with us. We had to unbox and bag 600 pounds of undergarments donated by Jokey.

"I think we ought to take those two seats out right there," said Parker and we tried to pack everything into the plane, which was arranged by Savannah Toyota's Chris Hafer.

That done, it all fit and we set out on our 3am flight. The odd hour necessary because of the narrow window. It was the better part of a working day when we were granted permission to land in Haiti.

And just outside the airport were the first of scores od tent cities we would see. They were everywhere along with all the vehicles that survived. It looked like a demolition derby of colorful cabs.

We roared past crumbled buildings where nothing has yet to be cleared. Locals say scores of thousand are still buried beneath them.

We heard the haitians' stories in their native creole tongue, which was translated by pastor Larry. He clearly understood them and they him.

People who madeit through the crush of sould to get into a local hospital, some with just a cut on an arm only to have that arm cut off.

And others who want to do something, so they pick up a broom and sweep the dusty street.

Long lines form at a supply truck where order will give way to chaos once the door is raised, and most will leave nothing.

The supplies we brought were to be carefully distributed by McDaniel's longtime friend, pastor Joel Vibert. Money from members of the sanctuary in Savannah will help him build their church building.

Though the aid is being handled wisely and will meet critical needs, the wrenching reality that it is but a drop in an ocean of sorrow and it is not lost on the team from Savannah.

"A tent is a home," said Clements. "That tent that was just a four inch piece of shelf at Walmart or Sams is now somebody's home. It is their home and will be their home for a long time to come."

Pastor McDaniel is already making plans to go back to Haiti to monitor progress and provide further assistance.

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