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When Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti...

... we were safe in our robust apartment built out of concrete, securely standing on a hill. So many nice and thoughtful messages came our way that I was really touched by all the concern. When we learned on Sunday that Matthew was going to hit Haiti seriously, we were really worried. First, he aimed into a different direction but on his way he changed his course.

The eye of the storm hitting the south-west of Haiti.

In Port-au-Prince, the rain started on Monday and left us on Wednesday. In between, we had very strong rain and wind gusts but nothing exceptional. Schools were closed and all the three of us stayed at home for 2 days and watched the rain doing its thing. To be on the safe side, we did some last minute grocery shopping and got gas for the car on Monday morning, just in case there might be a fuel and food shortage after the hurricane due to bad roads. We were totally fine and lived in our small apartment bubble, happy that nothing serious happened.

Reality settles in.

On Wednesday, we started to hear that the hurricane did some damage to the south and south-west of Haiti. The government stated that there are a couple of deaths. Only little by little we heard and grasped that the damage was REALLY, REALLY bad and that several cities were totally destroyed. On top, an important bridge close to Petit Goave was flushed away by the torrent and there is no way to help these helpless people in Jeremie, Les Cayes, and all the other south-western cities and villages.

There used to be a bridge here in Petit Goave. The access to the damaged cities in the south-west is blocked due to the collapsed traffic junction.

In the meanwhile, thanks to the media and the NGOs we are now aware of the DEVASTATING damage caused by Matthew:

  • At least 842 dead.
  • "Three cases of cholera had already turned up in southern peninsula hospitals. [...]
  • More than one million people have been affected by the storm in Haiti — and at least a third of them will require humanitarian assistance. [...]
  • More than 15,000 people were in emergency shelters. [...]
  • At least 20,000 homes were wrecked and hundreds of Haitians were injured [...]
  • In the largest banana-growing area of the country, more than 80 percent of the crops that feed 20,000 families were destroyed by the winds and flooding [...]
  • In Jérémie, the capital of the southern department of Grande Anse, there was near-total destruction [...]
  • In Les Cayes, another southern area where the storm wrought the most damage and across the peninsula from Jérémie, people lost their homes, livestock and possessions."
A man walks through the devastated town of Jeremie.

Last but not least to make matters worse, the elections that were supposed to be held this Sunday, 9 October, were postponed by the government."There is no word on when that vote will be rescheduled. [...] This latest disaster revives unresolved questions that continue to haunt the country from the 2010 earthquake when international aid groups practically usurped the role of the government."

This is another setback for this ill-fated, poor country that does not have a stable government to manage this crisis.

But see for yourself:

Some of you have approached me how to help in this difficult time of crisis. All I can say is: Please donate!" But not to any NGO out there.

One of our friends, David Carwell, is a pilot and program manager of Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) here in Haiti and has been flying constantly since Wednesday to help and transport necessary water and food supplies for the homeless and injured people in the west. You can read his first assessments why it is so difficult to act in this crisis here. Please also go and check out Mission Aviation Fellowship's page to learn how you can bring help in Matthew's wake.

Moreover, we will donate clothes, towels, sheets, medicine, and food to Sow a Seed tomorrow, a "non-profit, volunteer-based organization that works with struggling orphanages in the Caribbean region, assisting them with food, shelter, education and healthcare". Feel free to check out their page and support their emergency relief.

In the hope that we can see a smile again on these precious Haitian faces.

Source of news quotes: NY Times & source of hurricane photos: CNN

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