Saturday, March 13

Mapping out the work

The hot and sticky is back, it is so comforting to have got rid of the rain and cool and back to the heat.  The focus this week for me has definitely been house hunting.  Trying to find a house, in a suitable location, with enough rooms, can fit in a large generator, has water supply, wired for electricity, is secure, with parking for a number of vehicles and all for the right price has been a challenge.  But hopefully the search is now over.  We met with the engineer and gave our list of modifications today, now we just have to agree the lease.  It seems a really nice house, shame I’ll never live in it!  I have truly seen a complete range, the ‘fixer’ said that I would now have a good understanding of Haitian housing.

I’ve also been working with the information from the needs assessment with partners to try and get clarity on the number of tarpaulins needed.  I think that is agreed now but I need to submit the request and see if we can get any.  I’m really not sure that there is complete understanding about what this will entail from their end, but I can only set it up and hope it works out OK.  I’m also trying to get a large spreadsheet together of all the project sites, both DMT and partners, the number of beneficiaries and households, what activities are being undertaken and then the location with GPS coordinates.

We’ve got a media team here and it is very interesting seeing Port au Prince from their perspective and new eyes.  I took them up a hill to an area that has been very badly affected.  The photographer was taking photos of some buildings when some local people came up to him to point out where a body was still trapped in the rubble.  Apparently some of the areas they have been don’t smell too great.  But mostly as you travel around the city people are actively trying to clear away the rubble, even if it is one person trying to chip away at an enormous pile of concrete that was their house.  I was parked in traffic the other day looking at the rubble by the side of the road.  It was truly representative of lives torn apart.  In this mound there were a couple of concertinaed cars, clothes, bedspreads, plant pots, artificial flowers, a teddy bear, kitchen ware.  All parts of lives now changed and mixed with concrete, debris and dust.

Tomorrow is quite exciting as I am off to Leogane again.  I should get to see a couple of the programme sites in the afternoon and then an all day programme meeting on Saturday.  But the excitement is that we’re staying in accommodation with beds and running water!  I’ll have to see if I can actually sleep any better than on a thermarest on the ground.  Maybe there will even be hot or warm water.   


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