Haiti: Where is the safest place to kip tonight?
Anton the Indonesian engineer and Dr. Joseph conducted an assessment this morning of the flooded area next to our house in Leogane, Haiti. The 1000-plus people living there had already been displaced in the big January earthquake, and were living in the temporary camps in tents.
The water reached above their knees, and all of their clothes, their few remaining belongings, and their mattresses were soaked through. When we walked to the sea a few hours before the tsunami, a young boy showed us the way, kindly guiding us across a cesspit to reach the coastline. He showed us where he lived with his family, literally on the black sand beach itself. I dread to think what has happened to them now.
It’s kind of obvious when you think about it, but “we” — by which I mean people who live in strong houses — are pretty immune to most of this stuff. But when you are poor, you are vulnerable, and at the mercy of all kinds of random “acts of god.”
Tonight I have a decision to make… to kip in the tent (safe from falling debris in event of earthquake), or sleep in the house (protected from floods, tsunamis and other freaky weather patterns). It’s nice to have a choice.