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Communiqué #074


to the PEOPLE of HAITI

January 29, 2010

Another rainy night at the Refugee Camp has come and gone.  This time it was a torrential rain.  My cell phone was a casualty of our leaky tent as steady drips fell on it all night!  Ugh!  I think disassembling it and drying it in the sun may restore it to life!  While sleeping, drip after drip fell on my feet, reminiscent of a torture technique.  When we attempted to move the mattress to a drier location, another part of our bodies were recipients of the drips. To top it all off the “pee pail” got knocked over!  Yuck!   In the morning, we discovered soggy clothes and wet bedding. A lot of cleanup is occurring around the camp.  Tents are being dried out, children are changing into dry clothes, and wet documents are being dried in the sun!

Other people in LesCayes most likely did not fair as well.  A majority of residents are still sleeping outside, fearful of an earthquake that may appear during sleeping hours.  Many have no tarp to sleep under and are too afraid to retreat to their compromised home for shelter.

Today, I ask you for prayers for my new friend.  Her name is Sophia.  She is thirteen years old and is in the 3rd grade.  When she was just a toddler, her poor parents gave her as a restavek to a family in Port-au-Prince.  She tried to attend school, but her chores were too many for her to attend regularly. Eventually, the headmaster sent her home because the family she was working for had not paid her tuition. The day of the earthquake, she was sent out to buy popcorn for her “mama.”   The quake began and when she returned to the house where she lived, she discovered all the people inside had died, except for a little baby who was quickly removed by someone she did not know.  And thus, she boarded a bus heading to LesCayes.  This is how she came to live in the Refugee Camp in the tent right next to mine.  The people living in the tent have allowed her to stay with them.  She does not where she will go from here.

When I asked Sophia if I could take her photo she said “Yes!” accompanied by a beautiful smile.  When I commented about her beautiful smile, she was visibly embarrassed by the compliment!  My heart goes out to her!

If this were an isolated story of one young lady, it would be bad enough, but each and every day we are hearing more and more stories from the survivors.  It is heartbreaking!


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Nora Léon Missionary to Haiti & the Dominican Republic        Until  next time. God willing …………

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