Monday, March 8

House Hunting

After the highlight of my helicopter flight the week came back to reality, with 4 of my original group going home on Wednesday morning.  It seemed very quiet and bereft without them.  Only 5 in camp on Wednesday night.  Others arrived back from the field on Thursday and a media team arrived on Friday. 

I’ve spent a number of afternoons looking at houses for the team.  I’ve managed to find a ‘fixer’ who is taking me round a series of houses, I’ve now managed to drop all the palatial houses ‘not really Tearfund’, the ones in the middle of nowhere ‘we don’t want to feel too isolated’ and the luxury ones ‘we aren’t an embassy and we have to look after our money’.  I actually saw two today that had the right number of rooms and feel, but one had too many cracks for my liking and ideally I’d like them nearer to the office we’ve located.  Tomorrow afternoon I’m off to see the office to make suggestions for layout and then ……… more houses.  We’ve had quite a bit of rain this week and, although this afternoon was warm and sunny again, it has been a good reminder that when the rains come it will quickly get muddy, and camping is quite difficult when you can’t keep things out of the rain and the washing doesn’t dry.

I’ve got a copy of the needs assessment done with our partner organisations in Port au Prince now, so am just working out the tarpaulin requirements for their compounds.  Many of them have people camping around their buildings, some of which are churches and another a bible college.  For everyone the recent rains are bringing into sharp focus the need to get adequate emergency shelter out to everyone.  I’d really like to get it sorted before I come home.  I’m also trying to source resources from UNICEF and Save for schools, child protection and hygiene promotion.  Resources are slowly becoming available so hopefully I can get some information on them this week.

Not so many coordination meetings now.  They are mostly now going to one a week.  They are still very useful to get information on what is happening, new initiatives and guidelines.  Did various reports last week as well so at least those are now done and out of the way.

Lindsey Reece-Smith
Project Support Officer
Tearfund Haiti
Port au Prince

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