Category Archives: Aid

Haiti’s horror

My heart breaks.

Every time I head out of the Plaza Hotel in a CNN car, my heart breaks.

In the massive tent cities, in the villages, on the big island in the deep blue Caribbean. My heart breaks.

A woman grasped my arm today and would not let go. She held her sick child with her other arm. “I am hungry,” she said.

Everywhere you look, there is misery. People who had nothing have one hundred times nothing now.

After the earth heaved, the world turned to help Haiti but will it now begin to turn away?

“I am out of this stinking place tomorrow,” said one journalist staying at our hotel. He had just come out from a dip in the pool.

Yes, yes, you can go home. I can go home. We can all run away, back to our plush places with climate control, soft beds and enough on our plates to feed five Haitians.

But what of those who are already home? Amid the stench of rotting bodies, garbage-strewn streets and makeshift settlements where, if they are lucky, an aid group has delivered bulgar and lentils.

Imagine living side by side, without privacy. A woman on her period. Families bathing in public. Flies swarming, the heat rising. Ahead, lies the rainy season. And more misery.

Imagine never recovering what you have lost, memories and lives forever buried under mountains of crushed concrete and twisted metal.

I met a young man Tuesday on the Isle de la Gonave. Joinvil Anvousse. He was studying theology in Port-au-Prince. Today, he thinks his education is lost. He has no money. He does not know where his parents are. The house where he was living is gone. He moved back to the isolated island and eats every two or three days. One meal of plain rice. When someone shows mercy.

I pulled out a melting Pop-Tart from my backpack and gave to him. Within seconds, he devoured half. The other half he shared with his cousin. Then, he gave me his e-mail address.

“Tell the world my story because I want to go to school,” he said. “Promise me, you will.”

Yes, Joinvil, I promise.

For Haiti’s sake.

Read my stories about Haiti: http://www.cnn.com

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