The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.


db Conard, The Quill

Haiti - A World Reaches Out

The 7.0 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, in Haiti got the world's attention.

Major disasters almost always begin with a strange loud sound that at first is unreal, and then becomes an all too real nightmare.

It can come like an explosion, and than all of a sudden you find yourself trapped and unable to move any part of your body while your mind and your heart are going a million miles an hour.

Trapped and unable to move your head or your arms immediately can make you crazy with panic. You are not that far from losing your mind unless you can keep the terror of your imagination and what might happen under control.

There is an overwhelming sense of the weight of a heavy, unmovable mass squashing your life away, and then you find trust, trust that it will be alright. Trust is the only thing that you can hang on too that is truly yours, trust that you will hear the sound of your rescue at any moment.

My experience was 40 years ago, and under the weight of several layers of sandbags from a collapsed bunker. In later years I was living in San Salvador where due to mostly minor earthquakes you could watch the clothes in your closet sway completely from one side to the other.

When ever the earth moves you can't help but feel disconcerted. My hotel had been engineered in response to earlier disasters and was as earthquake proof as 80's engineering could make it.

Considering Haiti along with my first floor apartment with four stories above me in San Salvador, it left me with a unique empathy for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. I have been both shaken and squashed, just no where nearly as badly as they have in Haiti.

Watching each of the rescues of trapped victims pulled from the wreckage of collapsed homes and businesses, I sometimes felt I could read their minds as they are lifted from the weight that almost crushed them.

Everything seems fresh and bright for those who were saved. Everyone who was a part of the rescue has a moment of feeling good through the celebration of a life saved. Survivors are congratulated for having lived while so many others have died.

There have been countless lives changed in just the blink of an eye. A whole culture is on the brink of being saved by the world, and in so doing the world is said to be working towards saving itself.

Enough damage has been done that no half way measures will do if this nation is to have any chance for a future. Perhaps Haiti can be renewed and rebuilt as a symbol to the world of what can be done for the very least of nations if they are embraced as the world seems to be embracing Haiti.

Again and again, miracles of survival and rescue are constant reminders of amazing testimonials of humanity at work. The story of the two sisters who landed in Massachusetts with more than 50 orphaned children-their giving and the effect of their dedication and goodness, literally shines for us all to see.

The man who knew his wife was alive when others had given up. She was not only found alive but incredibly healthy in spite of her ordeal of being buried for an incredible five days.

The young women who had been on a teaching mission and had her foot crushed in a horrific way, yet she had a brother who was there to rescue her. When interviewed after a part of her leg had been amputated, this young women could not have shined brighter as she gave thanks rather than regrets.

Helicopters everywhere you look, ships just off shore, politicians and bureaucrats, horror stories and miracles, lots of going-to-do and must-do's.

Perhaps it will be the population earning its food through the labor of rebuilding their country. Haiti has a chance of gaining a government rebuilt as never before, with safeguards and democratic oversight promising to be worthy of the investment from the world community.

You can not help but notice the sense of giving that is everywhere at a much higher level then might have been expected. Consider how long the world has been embracing this nation. Bad government, weather, economy, and you could say luck. In spite of everything, one thing the Haitians don't have, is a bad attitude.

With basic, honest, professional, government and administrative services who knows what might happen? Haiti is a paradise, populated by honest, hard working, happy people.

The World seems to want this country rebuilt. It's as though it is getting that fresh start with a new slate wiped clean by the earthquake-a slate ready to be written on by humanity.

It is going to be interesting for us to see what is going to happen in the next several months, and the next several years.

The treasure is watching our neighbors and a world who are caring for this small nation in its distress.

Maybe for us, its a lesson for those times we seem to be in a hopeless situation. Help may be just around the corner. And with determination and a spirited attitude, we'll find that we will also be able to work through the disasters in our lives. Just trust, and have faith in your neighbors.