Friday, January 11, 2013

Hey, Remember Haiti?

Remember that huge earthquake and cholera outbreak that hit Haiti?

That was three years ago tomorrow. A lot of Haiti still looks like it was hit yesterday. 350,000 people are still living in tents. Progress is slowly, very slowly, being made. Homes are slowly being built- though at what building codes, that's another story- and people are getting treated, at whatever pace. But this is a long-term rebuild, of a nation grown skeptical of foreign aid efforts that fall short of promises. One of the few projects that has been completed is a luxury hotel that the locals could never afford to stay in. Some of the people in tents are able to leave, and can leave at any time, but haven't because they heard another aid group gave $500 to people on their way out of the tents, and with $500 being a lot of money in Haiti, they want $500 too before they'll leave. One man who had rubble still stuck to his face made a magazine cover, and when he was checked on a year later... he still had rubble stuck to his face. Because hey, whatever works.

Because it's taking so long and because the results are coming in such fits and starts, some are wondering whether we shouldn't just give up. Some already have. But we said from the start, this was going to take a long time. Things could have been better. A lot better. But there's three years worth of experience now. We have three years of knowing what works and what doesn't and what still needs to be done. We have information from which to make a plan going forward.

The first step in that plan might want to be the creation of a plan.

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