A simple turn of the radio dial, and news of the reconstruction plan dominates Haiti's airwaves. At the U.N. donor conference on Wednesday, the international community pledged more than $5 billion dollars to support Haiti for the next 18 months and almost $10 billion for the next five years. These are enormous figures aimed at transforming the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, which has become even more dire after the catacylsmic Jan. 12 earthquake. But as crucial as the donor news was, many Haitians made homeless by the temblor, like Patrick Nordeuse, 43, have simply tuned out. "I used to listen to the radio after the earthquake, but it would just depress me when I saw nothing was being done," says Nordeuse.
It's been more than two and a half months since the earthquake shook every fiber of Haitian society. I was here on a trip from the U.S. to visit my family when it hit and have stayed for most of the aftermath. But when I look at the streets of Port-au -Prince, the catastrophe still seems so much closer in time, as if it has just happened. Monstrous piles of rubble still hold the remains of thousands of earthquake victims. Haitians drift with no purpose during the day, returning to insecure shelters at night.
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