to desire the replica

posted on: January 15th, 2010

The only word that I can think to describe Haiti right now is………

Actually, I can’t think of one. It’s a nightmare being played on every channel in vivid colour and images that break your heart. There are people and planes and boats from around the world trying to flood the area and creating a logjam of aid banging at the door to get in and help.

I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be the sour chick here that dwells only on the past but the US response to Haiti immediately slams my conscious mind straight back to Katrina and the scene in New Orleans after the levees broke.

Jan 12th the quake hit and today- Jan 14- three (of the eleven scheduled) US airplanes have already arrived.

“You will not be forsaken. You will not be forgotten.”

-President Obama to the people of Haiti.

Katrina made first US landfall on August 25th and we all remember these horrific images of the people stranded without food or water and begging desperately for help at the Superdome or the Convention center until the were finally rescued on September 4.

What is my point? I don’t really know. Maybe when stuff like this happens it reminds me how much I fucking hate Bush? Wait a sec- don’t some of the scenes that we see everyday on the news from his un-winable war bare some striking similarities to what we’re seeing from Haiti? Oh, I mean except that one was a natural disaster and one is a man-made sideshow of death.

We’ll run to help the poor and innocent here, we’ll drop bombs and “accidentally” kill countless poor and innocent there, enny meeny, miny moe. It can make a person dizzy.

Haiti is a country already crippled by political turmoil, poverty and a lack of fundamental necessities like access to food, water, shelter and even basic medical care and mother nature just kicked them in the teeth. I hope that whatever god or thing or thought gives those people strength and hope is there for them now.

I’m sitting here on a chaise lounge with a laptop while drinking a steaming coffee and relaxing after having put my lovely godson Gray to bed, and watching these images of Haiti make me feel like a spoiled selfish bitch.

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Jeannie Says:

I haven’t had the tv on for days. I haven’t seen the images.

I feel bad for these people - trouble piled on trouble - but what bothers me is what bothered me about the tsunami that hit the Indian Ocean - we sent tons of aid and never got updates on how things went after the initial relief.

Aid will be sent. Water. Food. Tents for shelter. And then what? The contractors taking in supplies will make fortunes. Will the people get a fresh start? Will there be loans for business owners to get back in business? Will locals get paid for working in the cleanup so they can rebuild their homes? Or will foreigners rake in all the gravy and leave feeling they’ve done a mound of good?

Apparently, there are still Katrina victims unable to return home even now. What’s up with that?

Brian Smart Says:

I obviously feel for these folks too. I have done Search and Rescue out of Whitehorse for a few years and sometimes I wonder why they don’t have a system where they can take me and some of the folks I do that with down there, immediately, for a week or two and lend a hand. Haiti has some real logistical problems at the best of times so I can’t imagine getting some SAR folks down there right now would be easy if possible. It’s frustrating to have to watch when you know you could be helping out.

Kim Says:

Jeanie- You’re so right! The sad reality is that once the aid stops the people who once has precious little will now have nothing.
Bri- I know what you mean- it’s so frustrating! Unless you’re part of an organization they’re telling volunteers NOT to come right now as there is no way to support them with the food and water necessary to sustain them during their efforts which means they could then become a burden on an already overwhelmed system. Sad thing is- it’s going to get so much worse before it ever begins to get better.

[...] is a shout out to Kim for her thoughts on the disaster. Katrina is exactly what came to mind when I saw the media monster grind into motion the other [...]

Dave Says:

I just read on CBC that Canada has committed 5 million dollars in aid. Harper must have given up his February condo in Vancouver to raise funds. When I look at the 10 billion VANOC threw away, it makes me sick.

Brian-I know what you mean. When Katrina hit, one of the medical responders/trainers on my EMS department went down. She was there for three weeks just helping people go into their homes and retrieve what they could salvage. The National guard paired one soldier with one volunteer and gave them a vehicle and a list of victims to help. She came back very humbled by the difficulties she faced, but she said the victims were completely unable to cope with the strain of trying to do that alone.

Brian Smart Says:

Dave: I guess waiting and watching is part of the whole SAR or EMS thing as you know. I am normally a patient person but I have a hard time standing around on these occasions ( I think my counterparts would say I refer to this as “running around in ever-smaller circles until I eventually disappear up my own ass”). Last year we were looking around for a lost hunter; FLIR under the chopper, two guys in the back two seats with FLIR out each window, and the pilot and me in the pasenger seat. Eventually I made him put me on the ground because I could not stand flying around (fucking around) any longer and had to get busy.

Anyway…I guess we all should do what we can from here…send money and fight the fight with our credit cards. Makes me feel like shit honestly.

Kim Says:

I hear you Brian- it sucks when you have the skills and can’t just be there to use them when you know they’re needed.

Brian Smart Says:

Kim: I know that the rescue folks that are there must be exhausted, but when you are helping this way it’s amazing how long and how hard you can go…but eventually you just run out of gas and you crash or you get tired and make a bad decision and that can be bad for everybody. I am not a political or military analyst but I understand how Haiti got to where it’s at and it makes me sick. As a father, knowing that there are fathers wandering the streets looking for their families, and with a remote chance of finding them, alive or dead, breaks my heart.

Kim Says:

I know. And it’s just gonna get worse.

I REALLY liked your post and blog! It took me a minute bit to stumble upon your site…but I bookmarked it. Would you mind if I placed a link back to your post? I have a Political News Blog site of my own at White Rabbit Cult. Regards!

im having an extra hard time with this natural disaster. i take most natural and non natural disasters really hard, i wear my heart on my sleeve i can’t help it. i always do whatever i can in instances such as this. i despise being too small weight wise to give blood. the feeling of helplessness sucks. i can’t even imagine what it is like for the people living it. and i’ve also been thinking of Katrina and how the area still hasn’t even fully recovered and using fully is probably way too generous of a word for it. and with my husband out of work he just wants to GO but how? of course he can’t get over there. and now with my parents living inside the ring of fire (bali) and there having been an earthquake when i was there in september, it adds a whole new dimension for me in an of course extremely selfish, yet undeniably real way. oddly Haiti in Indonesian means Caution. i can’t stop thinking about that right now i don’t even know way.

I feel the same way as you. At first I told myself that I couldn’t afford to donate b/c I’m already not going to be able to pay all my bills between now and my next pay check. Then I felt that I needed to do something, so I donated a little bit. Basically just enough for a few gallons of water to be delivered, but that should at least help a few people for a day, and that makes it better than nothing.

Speaking of hating Bush, I read an interesting blog post the other day that you might be interested in too. It’s not about Bush per se, but it does get at the mentality of what’s gone on since 9/11: http://www.flipcollective.com/2010/01/12/trust-me-this-body-scanner-will-solve-everything-by-paul-shirley/

kim Says:

gus- Didn’t know about Haiti meaning “caution” that’s creepy in a “hair standing up on the back of your neck” kind of way!
Native- thanks for the link- I will check it out!!!!

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