Thursday, January 14, 2010

Two Days After the Earthquake

The town of Ste. Suzanne got to a late start today; everything in the North seems a little slower during the rainy season even now after the earthquake. Tuesday morning, Jack and I had arranged to buy food today in Cap Haitian--the largest city in Haiti after Port au Prince.  Fritz, our driver-on-loan, was to arrive "after breakfast." Usually this means around 7:30- 8 o'clock. He arrived at 10.

Anouse (who has returned to the rectory in good health) was coming too, but at 10 she wasn't quite ready. While waiting, her daughter (Dada) and I played Blind Man's Bluff until she tripped over the dog. Hilarity ensued.

The four of us at last made our way to Cap, and the scenery was the same only wetter. There was talk in the car as we all exchanged the little knowledge we had of Port au Prince (Fr. Jean is fine!). The radio played Celine Dion per usual, interspersed with personal messages like "To Claude in village X, everyone is okay, the whole family is fine."

Half expecting mobs of people buying food and a depleted market, everything was incredibly calm in Cap Haitian. In fact, when we stopped for lunch there were slight shortages not because of the earthquake but because of the rain.

People here have always talked of the "Republic of Port au Prince" as opposed to the rest of Haiti. It seems as those this distinction holds--at least in the North--during the earthquake crisis. Through and through, it's business as usual punctuated only by sadness and worry for family and friends near disaster area.

Perhaps there is chaos in the rest of Haiti, but it has not reached Cap Haitian or Ste. Suzanne. The calm here contrasts greatly with the frightening news we see on various news sites. The devastation in Port au Prince is surely vast, but not all of Haiti is undone. You can still fly to Cap Haitian easily enough!

We'll continue our updates in the upcoming days,



  1. The calm you experience seems surreal, given the images we see here. Glad Haiti is not undone. Glad Anouse and Fr. Jean are well. Thanks for posting!

  2. Any chance of phone connections? We will watch for you on Skype. Glad to hear you are ok.

    Dad K

  3. I am so happy that you are doing well, and that your world has not been turned completely upside down. It is good to know that there is something normal still going on there.