Today was Nancy's birthday, but there was no celebration in this inferno. A strong early morning aftershock drove people in a panic out of the hospital we were in. It was a sight we'll never forget: amputees desperately dragging themselves away from the building, mothers who had given birth under flashlight the night before clutching their newborns.
Yet the day unexpectedly brightened when some street kids we met gave Nancy the best present ever. When they found out it was her birthday one of them took off his necklace and put it around her neck, while another gave her his bracelet.
We remember today the death of friends and colleagues among whom were Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot whose home we had stayed in two weeks prior to the earthquake, when Airline Ambassador's CASA Corps earthquake preparedness building project was in negotiations. (CASA was conceived by the international community after the devastating earthquake in El Salvador in 2001 as an effort to build earthquake-resistant housing in developing nations susceptible to earth tremors).
A terrible irony as his home collapsed upon him only days after we had discussed the dangers of such buildings.
Our global community must get serious about the complete and utter destruction of this nation. Our message to the media when they say “Where is the Haitian government?” is that its members are either under the rubble, or attending to family members who were. They have a hard enough time finding drinking water for themselves, let alone resume any form of functional governance. Nancy and Dave Rivard