Hey, remember last week when Haiti was going through a horrible cholera epedemic? That sucked. Now this week we’ve got ourselves a category 3 hurricane headed for our messed-up little tropical paradise. It’s getting to the point where there are no longer separate disasters in Haiti…it just is one.
I’m not exactly stoked about the idea of living through a hurricane, although who better to do it with than a disaster response organization? I’ve signed up to be on the “emergency preparedness team” so that when the storm hits I’ll have a specific task to focus on, instead of just freaking out like I’d planned on doing. There are quite a few people here who are from hurricane-prone areas and they’ve all assured me that although we prepare for the worst, it’s never all that bad. And on the plus side, very few people die from the hurricane itself, it’s more the flooding afterwards that does the most harm.
This is a plus? OK! So instead of killing a bunch of people right off the bat with a swift impact, people get to suffer slowly through drowning and the (even further) spread of disease through the massive quantities of contaminated water that will be flying around the island? Great! And with all these people, some of my friends included, who are still living in tents and shanty towns (or IDP camps, for those in the know), a little flooding is going to affect their lives in a huge way.
Not that I’m panicking…(!!!!). I guess like everything here, we have to take this a day at a time and see how it plays out. The Haitians don’t seem nearly as worried as us Blancs do. I guess they get warnings like this every year, and sometimes it turns out really badly and sometimes it’s OK. Just in case it does get ugly, I’m supposed to let everyone know that they are not to worry, that we have a safe place to ride out the storm, and that we are as well-prepared as we can be. We might lose mass communication for a while, but our families will be updated as soon as possible whenever we’re able to get news out. So keep an eye on the news, and if you don’t hear from me for a few days assume that I’m fine. I will most likely be locked tight in a bunker playing charades and eating Kraft Dinner, which realistically is what I do at home all winter anyway so it won’t be so bad.