Another Bad, Awful, Terrible, No-Good, Horrible Day in Haiti

Yes, I blogged last night. Yes, I'm blogging again. I'm a blogging fool.

Now if I can just get rid of this really annoying cough....

As many of you, I'm reading a decent number of websites that are dutifully reporting on the carnage and squalor going on in the country of Haiti. Nearly every website that has any information concerning the 7.0 magnitude shake-up proudly shows a picture of the National Palace, falling over from the quake. The National Palace was the most structurally sound building in the entire country.

Associated Press has informed me that most of the other buildings in the country are of "questionable construction,” simply because the people living in them built the homes themselves. There are very few fancy contractors in Haiti. There are very few roofers who will work around their schedules to come put new shingles on their homes. Even if there was a roofer somehow available, the Haitians wouldn't be able to afford it, anyway. Haiti is among the poorest countries in the world, and even the poorest family in America would be among the richest in Haiti.

Surprisingly, this isn't the first string of devastatingly bad luck for the Haitians. In fact, they are "prone" to natural disasters, if there could be such a thing. In 1994, Hurricane Gordon killed more than 1000 people when it hit Haiti, followed by Hurricane Georges killing more than 400 people in 1998. Hurricane Jeanne killed more than 3000 Haitians without even making landfall in 2004. The northwestern City of Gondaives was hit heavily by four tropical storms in 2008, which destroyed a vast majority of the crops there and killing several people in the process. A school even collapsed in November of last year, killing 90 people and injuring 150. (

I just can't imagine living in a country that is "predisposed" to so much bad luck and so many natural disasters. That's like living a life where you are predisposed to be hit by a truck every few years. I don’t think I could put up with something like that.

So what’s a Haitian to do? Many of them can’t afford to pick up their families and move, so they are forced to endure hardship after hardship in a country that is unforgiving in every way. Among the people who can afford to move (less than 20% of the entire population), they refuse because their family has lived in Haiti for many generations, and leaving would be deserting a family heritage. Imagine being forced to stay in this country, by poverty or family ties, and not knowing what other disaster will happen the next day. Imagine spending your tiny life savings to rebuild your one-room home for your family of five, only to have it torn back down in two years during a hurricane. Kind of puts a new meaning to being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Haiti needs more than prayers and money – they need a break. This massive quake took what little they had and crushed it into nothing. What do you get when you take little from nothing? Less than nothing, which is what the Haitians have right now, as they stand in the streets with their children in their arms, staring at the pile of bricks that used to be their homes. This is what the Haitians have as they weep in the streets over the bodies of their loved ones.

This is an offering to all of us as another opportunity to put our own problems into perspective –

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