I know it's been a while, but...
I'm just back from three weeks in Haiti, and have so much to write about. My problem is that I don't know where to start, so I'll shotgun it.
Firstly, I deployed so fast from where I was in New England that I didn't have an opportunity to grab my camera from Atlanta. I'm an idiot for that.
Haiti was desperate before the earthquake, and now it is more so. I discovered that the Haitians have a saying, "Behind every mountain is another mountain". That speaks volumes to the plight of the Haitian people.
Every Haitian will smile at you if you smile first. I've found this to be true without exception; young and old, wealthy or destitute. I was amazed at this, and I'll tell you that Port Au Prince is a far more friendly city than Boston.
The media was initially up in arms that aid was not getting to the people immediately after the ground stopped shaking. It takes a bit of time to mobilize that aid and even just get it into the country. I understand that people were desperate for help, but there is not a US aircraft carrier parked off every coastline loaded with aid and medical supplies just waiting for a natural disaster. These things take a bit of time to come together.
There was an awesome medical response to the disaster. Legions of physicians, nurses, and paramedics descended on Haiti and began work immediately, most often with little or no supplies, in buildings that were about to crumble around them. They did the best that they could, and I was speechless at their efforts.
I have a plane to catch and will add more focused thoughts later. -eric