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Communiqué #080


to the PEOPLE of HAITI

March 6, 2010

I have now been back in the USA for over a week.  I am surprised at how difficult the transition has been for me this time. With my other returns to the USA, I have been able to quite quickly adjust to life here.  Not so this time.  I really did not expect that the earthquake would have such an impact on me. In Haiti, I did struggle with feeling the earth moving when it was not, but I really did not expect those sensations to continue once I reached American soil.  I have been taken aback by the unexpected times that I am caught off guard by the slightest movements of things around me.  I am dreaming very vivid dreams of Haiti and having difficulty sleeping.  That too I did too I did not expect.

These events are making me more aware of what soldiers experience when they return to the USA following a war.  Their post-traumatic stress syndrome must be even more intense and long lasting.  In a small way, I can now relate to them.

I ask you to pray for the Haitian people as they too suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome.  It must be especially difficult for those who were in collapsed buildings or watched as loved ones died or were unsuccessful in locating missing family members.  Mental health care in Haiti was virtually non-existent prior to the earthquake. Following the earthquake, the mental health care workers who have come to Haiti on short stints cannot possibly treat all of the many people who are in need of their services.

It has been almost two months since the original BIG quake and still many Haitian people fear going into buildings or sleeping inside.  This fear will not soon go away!  It is my plea that you continue to remember in prayer those many people who will have long term effects from this trauma!

Nora Léon

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

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