We began the day just after midnight awakened by a tremor. Three colleagues on the floor in one room, one in a bed, the two of us in another room, with two single gal colleagues on our floor. Yes, Touch Global staff are basically camping in this so-called “hotel” room. So many hotels in PaP were destroyed, that there are 2 in
this area near the airport - filled to capacity. NBC News crew is here, and some of the journalists are intrigued by our presence. We end up hanging around together in the evening because NO ONE wants to be out after dark in Port-au-Prince. Let me say that these foreign-run hotels are taking advantage of the catastrophe: bonjour price gouging. Most of us did feel the tremor, and some of us were ready to scram. Brian didn’t feel a thing. But it was a reminder that experts predict another earthquake, someday…. No one who lived through the first quake and dozen aftershocks wants to sleep indoors. But rain is in the forecast for Monday, and it will be yet another disaster for those tens of thousands sleeping outdoors.
By the end of the afternoon, six colleagues have left Port-au-Prince, and now Brian and I are holding down the Touch Global “fort” till others join us on the 9th. A “Romantic Caribbean Getaway” … not. But we are glad to be serving the Lord side by side at such a time as this.
This afternoon we drove through town to reach an orphanage which our colleagues had found last week. They’d brought food for the kids and become acquainted with the director. We wanted to do a follow-up visit. Keep in mind that driving around PaP is neither for the faint of heart, nor for the weak of stomach. It is always a major ordeal on several levels. Today in fact, the floodgates finally broke inside me along the way, and I could not hold back the tears.
We arrived at the orphanage and found about 50 little ones huddled on a tarp with their minders. They showed us their former home: a literal mountain of rubble. And to our horror, a couple children told us that in that rubble are buried 80 of their playmates. For some reason, almost all the living are babies and toddlers. There are about half a dozen grade-school boys who had been playing soccer that afternoon in the courtyard, so they survived.
We brought a bag of candy, some crayons, and coloring sheets – and stickers! I sang French lullabies with them. A group of French adoptive parents have sent tents for the children as they waited to be united (adoptions already in progress). While with these precious little ones, I wasn’t sad; my heart was filled with joy. But for Brian, the filthy conditions they were forced to live in and with no parents broke his heart. This is a loving Dad for whom “bath time” with his own kids was truly quality time. But with all our being, we both resisted the urge to load up the truck and take some of them home.