Wednesday, February 1, 2012

An Island United

We are one of the few divided islands in the world-- I think there are 10 or so but a few of us. like Cypryus, have always had a bit of sibling rivalry. Dominicans and Haitians have never had good relationships until the earthquake two years ago. When the quake hit, it was Dominicans who raced to the border with the hearts and hands open.

There was not one single church or store or town that did not contribute something to Haiti. There was not one dry eye in the nation. There was not one church empty.

I watched them, covered them as a journalist,as i also fervently monitored the internet postings for news that I might usefully cross post from French into English, via this blog, via Facebook, on to my nephew who works at FEMA.

The Servicio Jesuito de Migritorio were the ones who were first mobilized as they are the ones who work with the Haitian community here. Within a day, they had a warehouse and trucks lined up. On the first day, the donations started trickling in. A few boxes piled on the walls. Volunteers sat impatiently at the tables, waiting, becoming angry. Their anger was dissipated when a middle aged woman walked in carrying two plastic shopping bags full of boxes of saltines, and said:

"I am sorry. It is not much. It is all I could afford."

Here is the story that I wrote on that.

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