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We landed in Haiti about 5 hours ago. It has been approximately a week after the major earthquake struck this country. I had the privilege of traveling here today with President Bill Clinton and other dignitaries to deliver some much-needed supplies.
There was a deafening silence on the plane as we approached the landing. Everyone was peering out the windows in an attempt to see and gauge the level of devastation. Obviously, it was not very visible to us. At first glance, you would assume you are coming to a country that did not have a care in the world. It was very beautiful from up high. Mountains, water –it is a beautiful country.
Unfortunately, we all knew why we were there. To deliver much needed supplies to the earthquake victims. It became apparent very quickly that food, water, and medical supplies were desperately needed. Moreover, I realized that in a in a strange way, this relief was not only helping those who were the victims of the earthquake, but all Haitians. In this impoverished country, the majority of the people lacked so much before this natural disaster, and they too might finally be receiving some basics like food and water. It was certainly hard to distinguish the poor from the earthquake victims.
As we approached the terminal, we could see the military helicopters and aircrafts for the staging areas and supply distribution. There is a large military presence at the airport along with UN soldiers. The US military has been present and coordinating the US operations at the airport. They are hard at work. Most have been here since the evening of the quake. Hundreds of evacuee’s are lined up at the airport hoping to get out. Even that is sad — they are probably evacuating with what little they have left. The fortunate few, while thousands remain trapped.
Filed under: Haiti
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