14 January 2010


Of Haiti's current horror, what can one say? What can one do? I would love to fly out there to the rubble of Port au Prince, find one devastated family and bring them back to our house, look after them, feed them, keep them warm until returning seemed safe and sensible. But the authorities would never allow such a thing.
Those collapsed shanty towns. Those people digging desperately with their bare hands. Those poor Haitians with their desperate history and their broken economy. Those neighbours lost. Those uncles and cousins, sons and sisters, mothers and grandmothers wrapped in tattered blankets and left on the kerb for collection vehicles. Those mysterious ways of that heartless "God".
Like millions of others I will donate money to the Haitian earthquake appeal and hope it does just a little good. Meanwhile, we live with our minuscule worries, our holiday plans, our New Year's resolutions, our bills, our appointments, our quarrels, our ideas for tonight's dinner. It's all nothing - meaningless compared with what has happened in Haiti.
I urge fellow bloggers to give generously. We are all earthlings.


  1. One of my adult students (I'm an English teacher in Catalonia) is a Red Cross volunteer and is on standby to be sent out there ... talking in class, I asked him what he thought of all the pledges of money from the likes of Gordon Brown and Obama, and he said, fine, but they SHOULD HAVE GIVEN the money/aid to help develop the country long before this happened - if they weren't living in such poverty and precarious "buildings" the amount of deaths would have been dramatically reduced. He's right, but I somehow don't think anything's gonna change.
    As you say, all we mere power-less mortals can do is give and hope.

  2. This is a disaster, and it does put things in perspective. And the people of Haiti need our help.

    To Brian - your student must understand that corruption has been a way of life in Haiti and elsewhere, which has made it difficult (if not impossible) to lend assistance with any certainty that it would go to those in need.

  3. Horrifying photo. One's heart goes out to the people of Haiti.

    The photo reminds me, strangely, of some Vietnam War photos....

  4. I agree, Sam, it's depressing but true, that the countries most in need of help are often those we cannot help.
    Let's hope that, within the tragedy of Haiti, something can be done.


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