Saturday, January 15, 2011

A call for Tamaka

As I was spooling down this evening, the Lord once again spoke and reminded me of my recent prayers to be of use again to my colleagues and family. An brief email was followed by a call from Dr. Clint Doiron who is currently in Port au Prince setting a new pediatric cardiac surgery program in Haiti. He met today a critically ill little girl who needs... no MUST have our help to find a place for treatment and medical stabilization here in the states. She will not be here next week without it. So, at 7:30pm on a Friday night of a holiday weekend I began shaking the trees for any help we could get. The key component keeping her from getting to the US is a hospital to commit in writing to accepting her and providing her care. I do not work in the hospital much anymore and do not have political/powerful contacts at the hospital, but we will still strive to be the Lord's hands and feet. To bring a miracle to this precious child through the Lord's grace and mercies. If you know anyone with hospital affiliations/connections please pass Tamaka's story along.

January 14, 2011
By Rachel Turner
Tamaka Ecza sits on a chair with her head resting on a yellow pillow in her lap. At twelve years old, she’s too weak to sit up. According to cardiologist Dr. Clint Dorion, she will die within the week if she doesn’t get help.

Tamaka wears a red dress and a beautiful smile. Her nurses say she’s the most beautiful girl in the hospital. She and her mom, Marie Charles have lived in the University of Miami Hospital in Port-au-Prince since Tuesday after leaving the countryside when Tamaka turned for the worse. Now Mrs. Charles attempts to make her fifth child as comfortable as possible until the end.

“Tamaka is in congestive heart failure,” said Dr. Dorion. “She’s been diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease and will not live without immediate help.” Tamaka experienced untreated strep throat at age seven which affected the valves of her heart making them incompetent. That lead to an infection on the heart valve and the heart sack. She will eventually need a mitral valve replaced, but for now, she just needs to be stabilized in a US hospital that has the proper equipment to make the necessary diagnosis and treatment.

“I hope to find a way to help my daughter, but I don’t even have a house to take her to,” said Mrs. Charles. “I made a tent that we sleep in now.” Even with many dedicated non-profits working in medicine, the devastated city of Port-au-Prince has no facility or equipment for the cardiac treatment that Tamaka needs.
This week could be even more difficult for Mrs. Charles than when she and her family lost their business and house one year ago in the 2010 earthquake.
“I’ve learned that I can have the world in my hands and lose it within seconds,” said Mrs. Charles. “I don’t know how to get through this yet, but I depend on God.”

For more information or to learn how you can medically assist Tamaka, please contact Dr. Clint Dorion or Chris Keylon at:

US cell: 865-300-1922
Haiti cell: 509-3-838-9922

For photos visit

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

How They've Spent Their Money

A nicely summarized rundown of how organizations have been spending their aid money in Haiti as we approach the one year anniversary of the earthquake is provided in the Huffington Post.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Democracy Now! Haiti 6 Months Afterwards

Sean Penn on Haiti Six Months After the Earthquake, Recovery Efforts and Why He Decided to Manage a Tent Camp of 55,000 Displaced Haitians
Two-time Academy Award-winning actor and director Sean Penn was honored by the Haitian government on Monday at a ceremony marking the six-month anniversary of the earthquake that killed 300,000 people and left more than 1.5 million homeless. Penn first came to Haiti after the earthquake struck to help with immediate relief efforts. He decided to stay to finish what he started. He co-founded the J/P Haitian Relief Organization and is managing a tent camp on the Petionville golf-course that now shelters some 55,000 people. On Sunday night, we went to visit Sean Penn’s camp. We walked in and asked to speak to him. We were ushered in to a large tent and ended up sitting down with the Hollywood star for more than an hour talking about Haiti, recovery efforts and the lack of them, his life and what inspired him to do what he is doing.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Container out of customs

It finally happened....our shipping container made it out of customs!!!

After weeks of effort, Ricot got it out this morning.  Knowing how much it is needed he got the container unloaded into two large box trucks and drove it up to Camatin.  Harvest Field now has all the supplies!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Frontline's The Quake: Now available online

Please check this out if you missed the broadcast.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Haitian-American Poet Lenelle Moise

Quaking Conversation

I want to talk about Haiti.
How the earth had to break
the island's spine to wake
the world up to her screaming.

How this post-earthquake crisis
is not natural
or supernatural.
I want to talk about disasters.

How men make them
with embargoes, exploitation,
stigma, sabotage, scalding
debt & cold shoulders.

Talk centuries
of political corruption
so commonplace
it's lukewarm, tap.

Talk January 1, 1804
& how it shed Life.
Talk 1937
& how it bled Death.

Talk 1964. 1986. 1991. 2004. 2008.
How history is the word
that makes today
uneven, possible.

Talk New Orleans,
Palestine, Sri Lanka, 
the Bronx & other points
of connection.

Talk resilience & miracles.
How Haitian elders sing in time
to their grumbling bellies
& stubborn hearts.

How after weeks under the rubble
a baby is pulled out
awake, dehydrated, adorable, telling
stories with old soul eyes.

How many more are still
buried, breathing, praying & waiting?
Intact despite the veil of fear & dust
coating their bruised faces?

I want to talk about our irreversible dead.
The artists, the activists, the spiritual leaders,
the family members, the friends, the merchants,
the outcasts, the cons.

All of them, my newest ancestors.
All of them, hovering now,
watching our collective response,
keeping score, making bets.

I want to talk about money.
How one man's recession might be
another man's unachievable reality.
How unfair that is.

How I see a Haitian woman's face
every time I look down at a hot meal,
slip into my bed, take a sip of water
& show mercy to a mirror.

How if my parents had made different
decisions three decades ago,
it could have been my arm
sticking out of a mass grave.

I want to talk about gratitude.
I want to talk about compassion.
I want to talk about respect.
How even the desperate deserve it.

How Haitians sometimes greet each other
with the two words, "Honor"
& "Respect."
How we all should follow suit.

Try every time you hear the word "Victim,"
you think "Honor."
Try every time you hear the tag "John Doe,"
you shout "Respect!"

Because my people have names.
Because my people have nerve.
Because my people are
your people in disguise.

I want to talk about Haiti.
I always talk about Haiti.
My mouth quaking with her love,
complexity, honor & respect.

Come sit, come stand, come
cry with me. Talk.
There's much to say.
Walk. Much more to do.

© 2010 by Lenelle Mo├»se 

Monday, March 29, 2010

Frontline Documentary: "The Quake" airing tomorrow night

We received an email from Reggie, a production Assistant for Rain Media, in response to Troy's post about President Clinton's plea to help Haiti toward self sufficiency rather than continuing the cycle of abuse and dependence.  Reggie wanted us to know that PBS will broadcast a Frontline documentary on the current situation (and some history) in Haiti tomorrow night at 9pm Eastern (check your local listings in other time zones).

Please check it out.  Set your DVR.  Tell your friends.  Post it on your blog.  You can watch a preview here and feel free to use the poster image above.

Here's most of Reggie's email, which includes a summary as well as some other links:

"I wanted to make sure you knew about the upcoming PBS FRONTLINE documentary about Haiti called “The Quake” airing Tuesday, March 30th at 9 pm Eastern.

"The Quake" is a thoughtful, exhaustive exploration of the unnaturally deadly disaster and spiraling humanitarian crisis that threatens to confound the largest global relief effort in modern memory. It features an exclusive interview with Clinton among others where he states:

"The Haitians have been abused by outsiders, neglected by outsiders, helped, but in a paternalistic, ineffective way by outsiders. They've engaged in self-abuse. They've had all kinds of problems. And they wanted finally to seize control of their own destiny."

Paul Farmer, the UN Dep. Special Envoy, "This is an opportunity to rethink how aid works and how we, the most powerful country in this part of the world, can work with our oldest neighbor. So I think all that possibility is built into this tragedy."

You can get a sneak preview of “The Quake” at where you will find embeddable videos and more information. Follow the films producers at "

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Clinton: Make Haiti Self-Sufficient

Just off the AP newswire

NEW YORK — Former President Bill Clinton is urging the aid groups serving Haiti's devastated communities to help rebuild the country's government and ultimately put themselves out of business by fostering a self-sufficient nation.
Clinton, the United Nations special envoy to Haiti, spoke to representatives of the aid groups Thursday, ahead of a critical U.N. donors conference next week at which Haitian officials are expected to ask for $11.5 billion to rebuild.
"Every time we spend a dollar in Haiti from now on we have to ask ourselves, 'Does this have a long-term return? Are we helping them become more self-sufficient? ... Are we serious about working ourselves out of a job?'" Clinton said.
Haitian leaders have expressed frustration that billions of dollars in aid have bypassed the government and gone to U.N. agencies and to foreign non-governmental organizations, which operate independently and don't always coordinate with local authorities.
Clinton asked the groups Thursday to allocate 10 percent of their spending in Haiti for government salaries and employee training, to help the nation's agencies rebuild their decimated staffs.
He urged the aid groups to hire local staffers, consult with local authorities and structure their efforts around the Haitian government's plan, which is currently being finalized. Groups should make sure that the money they spend builds communities and infrastructure and creates local jobs, he said.
Efforts most focus outside the capital of Port-au-Prince, Clinton said, adding that Haitian President Rene Preval and others were eager to decentralize the country.
"For too long, Haiti has revolved around its capital city rather than just being supported by it," Clinton said.
The former president also urged the groups to participate in an online registry and make their expenditures transparent. And he warned that unless they take action to move refugees to higher ground, as many as 40,000 people could be killed if there are heavy rains.
Liz Blake, a senior vice president for Habitat for Humanity International, said that Clinton's words were inspiring and aid groups were willing to work with him, but what he was asking is difficult.
"Working yourself out of a job — which is working to strengthen the government of Haiti so that the support and work of a nonprofit is no longer needed — isn't a standard practice," she said.
But, she added, "All of us want to do what we can to support the Haitian people and work with the Haitian government, and do so even if we have to suspend our disbelief."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Surgery Success!

Lorrette Pierre is a wonderful Haitian woman that suffered from a tumor on her lower jaw that would eventual block her breathing and ability to eat.  A surgeon from Tennessee made a valent attempt to remove the tumor in the days following the earthquake.  However, the facilities in Jimani did not have the equipment necessary to ensure she would make it through.  It was incredibly painful to see her wake up from the surgery and realize that she was no different than before.  She also was incredibly sick from the  medication used to put her under.

The surgeon returned to the states with a mission:  get Lorrette here for surgery as soon as possible.  His efforts paid off recently.  Read about the incredible actions of doctors in Florida to save this young ladies life:


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

We have an updated list of needs sent by this week's team at the clinic in Haiti. If you can help in any way, please communicate back with us so we will not duplicate efforts and take up needed space on the aircraft! 

Thank you!
Multivitamins with iron
Multivitamins adult
Multivitamins for kids chewable and liquid
Silver nitrate sticks.
Malarial meds (we only have doxycycline to use in the clinic now)
Benadryl cream
Ophthalmoscope/ otoscope
Head lights, pen lights, flashlights
Zyrtec or Claritin
Saline nose drops
Ophthanine eye drops (? spelling - any brand for topical numbing)
Magnifying glasses or loupes
Pregnancy tests
Vagisil (or similar) cream

Also a microscope is still needed.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Haiti says it needs $11.5 billion to rebuild after earthquake / The Christian Science Monitor -

Haiti says it needs $11.5 billion to rebuild after earthquake / The Christian Science Monitor -

Good article from the CSM.
Drop off your FOOD donation to HudsonAlpha
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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ministry of Touch — Reflections on Disaster Work after the Haitian Earthquake

Dr. Annekathryn Goodman has written a great personal account of what she calls "touch rounds":  Even without an interpreter, I can visit each cot and touch a face, an arm, or a hand and receive a touch in return. The patients and I develop our own handshake: a finger catch, thumb grip, fist pound, and finally the hand to the heart. This hand gesture causes general hilarity, and everyone wants to participate.

Read her touching story here:

New England Journal of Medicine
Volume 362:337 March 18, 2010 Number 11

Friday, March 19, 2010

Update on our container shipment

We last posted on March 1st that our container containing food, medicines and medical supplies had made it to the port in the Dominican Republic.  We thought we'd wait until we had news of it clearing customs and being loaded onto a truck for delivery into Jimani before posting again.'ve just gotten a sense of how time often works in Haiti!

Here is where we are (greatly condensed to save you from having to read about the endless hours of discussion, walking from office-to-office and paperwork that's taken place over the weeks):

  1. We were cleared for duty free import into the Dominican Republic!
  2. Harvest Field procured a warehouse in Port au Prince, so we requested that the trucking company  change the destination.  It cost a bit but makes unloading and distribution soooo much easier.
  3. Our truck was released and headed to the border earlier this week.  Once there we learned that the border has really tightened up and any containers carrying medicines (ours does) are being strictly regulated.  After many, many, many hours of discussion and paper shuffling the truck was headed to Haitian customs in Port au Prince.
  4. Our bright yellow truck with Antillean down the side stood out at the border.  You could see it from miles away.  Once it was in the Port au Prince customs center it was one of thousands of containers, hard to pick it out in the crowd.  We learned that the trucking company put the wrong name down for the receiver.  This makes it really hard to pick up your trailer when the documents say it belong to someone else!  We got them to change this once we figured out what had happened.
  5. We start to work again on Monday trying to get the container cleared from customs.  We've got plenty of time to figure out how to make this go smoother next time!
More as we have it....

Toward a Second Haitian Revolution

Steven Stoll, associate proefssor of history at Fordham University, has an editorial in the April issue of Harper's Magazine:

Summary:  Haiti was the most productive plantation colony in the hemisphere.  Neoliberal reforms set into motion the collapse of the agrarian system that provided little economic growth but previously supported most people's immediate needs.  "Rethinking our assumptions about development, and allowing subsistence cultures to produce for exchange on their own terms, would give Haiti a chance to recover the best part of its history and to stun the world again with the genius of its freedom."

Read it.  It's good food for thought.

Monday, March 1, 2010


The container is now on the ground in the Dominican Republic and in the queue for customs inspection.  Our friends on the ground there are now working diligently to assure that there are no hang-ups at this critical step, while we here in the States try to work on other things while also staring at the phone, waiting to hear that we've cleared.

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Almost there!

The Erria Vietnam carries our cargo of hope.
Here's a picture of the Erria Vietnam, the ship that's carrying our container to Puerta Rio Haina, Dominican Republic.  The container should be unloaded and clear customs tomorrow and then be on its way to Jimani and points in Haiti where folks are anxiously awaiting the food and supplies that have filled every cubic foot!

By the way, this is a very high-res photo from, so click on the photo to get a close up view.

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Livestream Compassion International Haiti Benefit Concert

 Tune in here!

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Harvest Field On The News

Our friend from Harvest Field Ministries, Brian Lloyd, appeared on a Knoxville news show recently. Hear what he has to say about one of the orphanages:

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Latest update from Harvest Field Ministries

Update from Brian Lloyd in Haiti.  News like this is why we're doing what we're doing instead of following the prevailing advice to donate money.  We know the work being done by large aid organizations is absolutely critical, but how do you respond when you realize that smart, capable, and caring folks like Brian and his friend Hippolite are having such a struggle to get United Nations food aid for their communities?

We're responding by sending the needed items straight to Brian and his partners in Haiti.  And the first load is on its way.  I won't pretend to understand the ins and outs of why there's such a struggle for outlying areas to get assistance, but it gives me pause.  And it makes me glad that we're dodging all these politics by sending Brian and our other partners the food and supplies they desperately need.  Most of all, your donations of rice, beans, and relief gear continue to make it all possible!

Brian's update below:

Planning on leaving tomorrow and this trip, like most, has flown by.  I was supposed to leave today but the seat I had in a plane was given to someone else.  Thankfully American Airlines is flying in and out of Port au Prince again (started yesterday) so I was able to get a flight out tomorrow (Monday).  The flights/travel are still so undependable I'm telling anyone who is even considering coming to Haiti for a week to plan on being in country for a week, plus or minus a couple of weeks.  Sounds like I'm being sarcastic, but really I'm not.

The last few days we've been primarily distributing rolls of plastic, heavy tarps, blankets, buckets, and hygiene items.  Some of these items we purchased and some were given to us from Samaritan's Purse.  From an accountability standpoint, it's been really nice being able to see the materials get directly into the hands that need it.  The pastors of the churches have done a great job at coordinating this and keeping things running smoothly at distributions.

We've continued to go to the UN meetings to learn how we can get food aid for the communities we serve but so far those meetings have been fruitless.

I want spend a minute to tell you about a friend of mine who is so valuable to me.  His name is Hippolite Fanfan (pronunced like eepoleet).  Hippolite grew up in one of the orphanages we work with.  He, his wife, and 4 month old little girl live in conditions that most would deem unlivable, yet he just constantly emits joy.  He is a guy that has helped us for years when we bring mission teams down, but since the quake, he has been like my right arm.  He is my GPS system (he knows how to get everywhere), he is my voice (because my creole is still just good enough to get me into trouble - he gets me out), and he is my muscle (he works like a mule).  More importantly he is my teacher.  He teaches me daily what real faith and generosity is (when I give him some food and I see him later privately giving it to some hungry children).  He teaches me about worship (as he sings creole hymns all day long in the truck and as he dances at church).  He teaches me what selfless prayer is (as I listen to him praying fervently not for himself, but for things like "blessings for my friends in America", "for the Haitian govt to love Jesus", and "for my brother Brian to have a good life").  Yes, that last one stings.  Attached is a photo of Hippolite.  I wish I could send you a sound clip of his laugh (which I'm lucky enough to get to hear many times each day) but for now a photo will have to do.  Will you do me a favor and take just a few minutes right now and pray for my good friend Hippolite, his wife Nadine, and his little girl Ladine?  Thanks for your prayers.

Keep praying,

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We have LIFTOFF! 1st container on its way!

From Haiti Relief Packing The Truck

I'm so excited to announce that our container is on its way!  Loaded up at the UMC Disaster Warehouse Friday and by now arrived at the coast and ready for loading on a ship leaving out of Miami.  There's a whole series of pictures from loading day in this post, but the main message is - thank you for making this possible, and this is just the beginning.  Once we've successfully gotten the container all the way through to its destination we will set up to send another one.

We still have a great deal of food in the warehouse, and a brand new donation of 5000lbs of rice on the way from food importer in Illinois.  Meanwhile, it's still a great time to run a food drive (or a tarp drive!) at your school, church, company or other organization.  

Head here to register your drive so that we can coordinate with you and keep you posted on any changes in needs.  If you're interested in volunteering or even bringing a group to the warehouse, please head here to let us know.  We're also interested in volunteer drivers to bring food donations from both Trinity UMC and Hudson Alpha to the Warehouse. 

To finish this post, here's a quote from an email sent from my friend Jean Thomas in Haiti.  The large relief organizations are doing amazing work in Port-au-Prince under challenging conditions, but it's harder than you'd think to get help and food for outlying areas impacted by the quake.  

Here's an exerpt from the email, "Believe me, that 40' sea container is going to fill quite a void! We do need more of them in varioius parts of the country. There are so many procedures to get anything from the giant relief organizations... The recipients of these supplies will find some much needed relief."

From Haiti Relief Packing The Truck
Warehouse volunteers wrap a pallet of braces and splints bound for medical facilities in Jimani DR and Port-au-Prince.

From Haiti Relief Packing The Truck
Warehouse Supervisor and my newest hero (though he'd certainly disapprove that second title) Ray Crump carrying buckets Haitian-style.

From Haiti Relief Packing The Truck
Troy guides Kim as another pallet gets loaded.

From Haiti Relief Packing The Truck
Every box contains 50-80lbs of food!

From Haiti Relief Packing The Truck
Warehouse Treasurer Estin Lovingood loads crutches.

From Haiti Relief Packing The Truck
Troy and Ray fill the last nooks and crannies.

From Haiti Relief Packing The Truck
I'd call that full.

From Haiti Relief Packing The Truck
Sealing it up.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Operation Rainbow

Operation Rainbow envisions the world’s children, free of deformities and pain, living lives filled with hope and joy.

Operation Rainbow did some fantastic work at the Jimani hospital. Their teams responded incredibly quickly with dedication and passion. Take some time and read about their organization and view some pictures they just posted from Jimani:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Google LatLong: Haiti imagery layer now available

For those interested in our mapping project, this blog post from the Google Earth and Google Maps team will be of interest. There is a high-res imagery layer available as a .kml (Google Earth file) with a variety of high res sources and dates.

Google Earth is free (of course) and can be downloaded here.

Once you have it, your browser should recognize that you have it and offer you a "view in Google Earth" link on your My Maps page where, for example, our Haiti Relief Map can then be uploaded straight into Earth. This way it's possible to view our own sites at the same time as the high-res images.

Google LatLong: Haiti imagery layer now available

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rebuilding Haiti

Democracy Now! & Al Jazeera (English) ran a story on the politics of rebuilding Haiti. It's a question that comes up all the time and this piece explores several of the options that exist:

“Haiti–The Politics of Rebuilding”: A Video Report from Avi Lewis of Al Jazeera

Amy Goodman has long covered Haiti and all the articles and videos are available in the Democracy Now! archives. If you're interested in a first hand account of events in Haiti from 1996 to today spend some time here: