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Haiti

I do not usually blow hard in my blog but blow I must this morning. A Haitian-American student of mine lost her niece and her best friend. And that’s all she knows right now and she is just one person. Two relief worker friends are on their way to Haiti—both contributors to my book, “Another Day in Paradise.” They were packing suitcases last night and getting their affairs in order, saying goodbye to loved ones, as we were all watching the Golden Globes. The real world—not ersatz reality shows—is drama enough.

I had watched “The Hurt Locker” yesterday afternoon and then turned on the Golden Globes for relaxation but it was so insipid I could not relax. However, I do have to thank Nicole Kidman. When she appeared, she immediately pointed to her Haiti ribbon and said a few words about donation and George Clooney’s telethon. The MC—name soon lost into oblivion—had not even mentioned Haiti and was drinking beer. George Clooney did decide to come despite overwhelming preparations for his telethon, someone said. Alec Baldwin was not there; he was at a charity event in Canada. Thank you.

It was a sparkly, gazillion dollar affair, nearly pornographic in its disregard of the human suffering just south of our borders.

I had not made my money contribution as yet. My relief worker friends had suggested Doctors Without Borders or the American Red Cross. Both organizations are solid and well established in Haiti. So many people do want to help that the situation on the ground can be very chaotic with so many NGO’s turning up. So, best to go with the established organizations.

I donated to Internews this morning: http://www.internews.org/ I had heard their CEO on NPR talking about the media infrastructure in Haiti—there are/were about 40 radio stations in that small spit of land—and citizens rely on them for accurate information. Knowledge is power in such a catastrophe and helps to sustain civil society which is fast collapsing in an already collapsed, impoverished country.

If I could pray I would pray for the survivors in Haiti. At the very least, I wish them all courage and fortitude as they rebuild their country.



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