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Report from Port-au-Prince

March 9, 2010

“Port-au-Prince still reeling”
By Juan McCartney ~ Guardian Senior Reporter

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Bahamians who went on an aid mission to Port-au-Prince on Saturday seemed to be in shock at the state of the Haitian capital less than two months after an earthquake ruined most of it.

However, the man The Bahamas sent to represent its interests after the quake, said in his estimation, things are slowly returning to normal.

“The people are getting on with business as usual because they are having to survive. Everyday, they are continuously selling, and business is going on,” said Bahamas Special Envoy to Haiti Clifford Scavella.

“The devastation is very, very apparent and continues to be.”

Devastation is perhaps too soft a word to describe the situation in Port-au-Prince.

Throughout the capital, a cloud of dust and smog hangs over massive tent cities that provide some sort of shelter for hundreds of thousands of homeless and destitute residents since the earthquake leveled the city in January.

Across the street from one such tent city sits the presidential palace, still in ruins.

Along the gates of the immense palace, tourists gawk and take pictures, soaking in the destruction as Haitian vendors hawk their wares on the streets.

Other Haitians, who have nothing to sell, simply beg.

“It’s almost a complete difference,” said Gregory Miller, a young Bahamian who was visiting Haiti for the third time with a contingent from New Covenant Baptist Church.

And though Miller characterized Haiti as “a country of people who are resilient and very ambitious,” he admitted that he hardly recognized the place.

“The Haiti we saw two years ago is not the Haiti that we see here today,” he said. “With the help of others they are trying to clean up and trying to move on and make the way that’s best. They still have a long way to go. They are God’s children and so are we.”

See complete article in The Nassau Guardian published 8 March 2010

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