My friend in PAP sent me a good set of photos, that she found that accurately portrays life as it is right now in Port-au-Prince:
For those of you who have not yet been to Haïti, the rubble is new but not a lot of the living conditions---viz., the lady selling wares out of her tent. That is common, common, only generally outside of a house or on the street somewhere. Same with the wares on a downtown street, that is usual life.
It is clear from just a couple weeks ago that there has been a thinning of the camps with more installations across PAP, especially at the piedmont of the mountains that surround the city It seemed as if we could start to see more temporary homes as well--some zones with what looked like tole (tin) roofs.
The story is sad, yes, and frustrating; but at the same time life goes on and progress is being made. Please do continue to pray - especially about the following:
- Disgruntlement with Président Préval...There are almost daily demonstrations against his government. The Haitian people feel that he has not adequately taken the reins; yet the alternative is much less good--another provisional government, which, if it should be at all like the last one (2004-2006), will mean high prices, political instability, and very possibly more crime.
- Rising crime...This is not unusual for us; but after a few months of respite none of us wants to return to the thefts, kidnappings, and other violent crime that seem to plague us here. Please pray that the Lord's strong hand will contain this horrible evil. Many of the escaped prisoners are still on the loose, and there is news that gangs from some of the big slum areas are reforming. So far we can still circulate in relative ease; but we really do not need this to grow again!
- High cost of living...Prices remain about 25-35% over what they were before the earthquake and the US Dollar has dropped 10% over what it had been against the Haitian Gourde at the close of 2009. Building materials continue to climb, so rebuilding will be difficult without at least some financial underwriting.
- The heavy, heavy rains...These cause very wet conditions for the tent dwellers, retard cleanup, and ruin the possessions that are caught under the rubble. They also render structures that have not fallen even more unstable. As you may remember, two schools collapsed in late 2008 from heavy rains. This kind of phenomenon could easily continue; and it's anticipated that this will be a very heavy rainy season. The US Weather Service predicts a 70% probability of 14-23 named storms, 8-14 hurricanes, and 3-7 major hurricanes.
Thanks, and God bless.