It’s Dickie here, Karen’s brother in law writing the update today.
We had a busy day. Karen and I went to Saint Marc to get supplies and go to the Sogebank to get much needed paper money. There is a shortage of bills under 1,000 goud denomination. A 1,000 goud bill is 200 Haitian dollars. You divide all bills by 5 to get the $ value. I paid all the staff in $200.00 bills which makes it difficult for them to use. We did not take security with us but everything was OK. I called Sandra sitting in our truck in Saint Marc, and got through on the second try. We purchased 2X4’s, ¾ plywood, propane, water and some groceries. The store shelves are pretty bare and some items cannot be found anywhere. Water used to be $8.00 and now is $14.00. Diesel is up but is still available. Exchange is a little over 7 Haitian $ to one US $. This is low and makes construction very expensive.
Between 40 and 50 thousand people have moved to Saint Marc from PaP but the support has not reached them. I saw a lot of destitute people today and it is disturbing to me because we in Canada have so much. Karen and Luckner are busy preparing for the Funeral for Serlande. The viewing and the Funeral will be on the Compound and the burial in her hometown. The Funeral will be this Friday. We got word late this afternoon that Karen’s two brothers Don and Ken and her cousin Jim will be in PaP on a UN flight either 10:00 or 2:00 tomorrow via the DR. Karen and Luckner will leave early to intercept them. It can be a 4 hour drive each way. As you know, since the earthquake, no one is able to sleep in the main building which has the office, Karen’s living space and living space for visiting teams. So I joined Karen and Ti Luc outside where they have mosquito net covered beds set up. I set up a bed for myself and beds for Don, Ken and Jim who are arriving tomorrow.
Dickie’s bed set up for the night
I then helped Karen put a sheet around Ti Luc’s tent because he is always cold. He has been wearing 3 sets of pj’s since I got here. It started to rain a few drops and I thought we should move the tents under cover in the Devotion Room. The wise one (ie Karen) said it never rains in Haiti in February. We went back in the house and then the heavens opened up.
I ran outside to move the tents and thankfully Odner was able to help. We moved Ken, Don and Jim’s tents to the Devotion Room. We moved Karen and Ti Luc to the covered work area in from of the main building. I figured I’d be safe with Kim’s tarp over my tent. Well, it rained so hard that the pole holding the tarp broke. We could hardly get the tent out from underneath the tarp because of the pool of water on the top of it. I moved into the work area with Karen and Ti Luc. I set Karen and Ti Luc up with two tarps in case it rains again. There is room for 3 tents in the the work area and we will have 4. If you snooze you lose. No one had a dry night. We were OK compared to the poor people in PaP and surrounding area who have nothing. They still need 250,000 tents to house people. We have so much and they have so little.
Dickie’s tarp after the rains came and broke the sticks supporting it.
Setting up tents in the covered work area (notice the saw in the background)
Cozy sleeping quarters