Taking a drive through Port-au-Prince can be quite depressing when you see how many people are living in tents or make shift shelters. Now that it is a year after the earthquake many of these temporary shelters are disintergrating, covered in dust, and are torn. The camps are cramped, they have to share latrines (if they have them) and water isn't always the easiest to get to. It is common to see people bathing from buckets in front of their shelters, on the street, or in some polluted stream. They are doing the best that they can. For the most part I have been amazed at how clean people keep themselves and their clothing considering the living conditions.
Even though there are still so many people living in this horrible situation, every now and then we see an improvement in an area of the city and its exciting. One area where there has been a vast change is just down the street from the hospital. In a previous post I had mentioned a group of people living in the median of one of the main roads. Well...there whole community has moved!!! ADRA built about 180 wooden shelters for this community and was able to move them to their new homes on the beach on Jan 13! What an amazing celebration it was. Our friends from ADRA said it was so rewarding to see the excitement on people's faces when they were shown their new home. Now each time I pass that section of road where these people used to live I just can help but rejoice!
Another cause for rejoicing is that Spendi, one of our local doctors here, has finally been able to move into a house! She has been living in a tent outside of the ER for the last year. On Friday when I was walking down the ramp I immediately saw that there was an empty spot where her tent had been. I about jumped up and down in the hallway! I was so happy and excited to see that one of our very hard working doctors has finally been able to find a home!
There is still hope for something better. When I am about to fall into despair I just have to focus on all the good that has already happened, even if it often does seems slow in coming.