Wednesday, January 20, 2010

how are you??

This is an email correspondence between Yakini and a close friend, Regine.
We feel it will give you direct insight into what's going on in Haiti.
these very personal words are publish here with Regine's consent.

From: yakini
Subject: how are you??
Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 9:55 AM
You are in my thoughts and I just want to know if you and your family are alive and ok.
Please let me know.
Yakini and Family

From: regine
Subject: Re: how are you??
Date: Thursday, January 14, 2010, 7:00 PM
Dear Yakini

We're alive in the midst of so much death, confusion, pain and sorrow. The destruction is beyond description, I've wondered about Roudy's parents and Gameau. W'eve lost Magalie Marcelin and Myriam among others. Kou a fe nou mal!
Thanks for writing
Love to all


From: yakini
Date: Friday, January 15, 2010, 9:49 AM
Let us know what you need. I am so sorry for all of our losess.

From: regine
Date: Saturday, January 16, 2010, 6:33 PM

I just don't know what to tell you. right now there is so much uncertainty. we have food and water but Lord knows what the next step will be. everyone agrees this is the time for a new way of living, at once simpler and more harmonious. but what that looks like I have no clue.
thank you for your offer, Yakini. I'll let you know when things get more clear.
I spoke to Manze earlier today and Lolo stopped by my house to check on us. they're fine though we're all in shock.
Any news of Roudy's family?


From: yakini
Date: Monday, January 18, 2010, 1:03 PM
Hello I hope you are getting better and better each day. Coffy could not bear it any longer. He left for Haiti last night via Dominican Republic to arrive in Haiti tonight. Let us pray for him that no news was infact good news.
Also how is Lou Lou holding up?
I cannot even Imagine what you are feeling now.
Please share if you can.
Thinking of you.

From: regine
Date: Tuesday, January 19, 2010, 9:08 AM

By now, Rudy must have arrived here. I pray dearly for him as well that he does find his loved ones. Tell him not to get discouraged though, if he doesn't find them right away. So many have had to abandon their home for camping grounds nearby or further away. He can contact me at xxx-xxxx, my cell number. Cell communication also requires patience as the system is not yet fully operative.
Loulou is holding on, apparently fine, but we know like all of us, the impact of this event is far-reaching. He's seen dead bodies and horrific destruction. There's one positive aspect to all this though. For the past three or four days, Ronald and his brothers have been operating their treatment plants and distributing purified water to all for free., Loulou, Gaetan and some of their schoolmates have been helping, filling people's jugs all day. At the end of their first day, we had a debriefing session so they could express their feelings and thoughts about the event and their involvement with relief efforts. They shared some profound thoughts about feeling sadness and sharing people's pain, becoming aware of the impermanence of things in life and the importance of cherishing those we love beyond anything, as well as thoughts about nature's might and the need to adapt ourselves to its rythm.
As for myself, it's hard to describe all I feel. There's a mixture of disbelief at the apocalyptic scope of the event (beyond anything imaginable). All references -personal/historical/cultural/political - gone: the National Palace, the Legislative Palace, the Justice Palace, the Palais des Ministeres (health, finances,interior, public works, "planification"), Contributions - gone. The Cathedrale de Port-au-Prince, l'eglise du Sacre-Coeur. St-Louis Roi-de-France, Sainte-Trinite, l'Archeveche de Port-au-Prince, etc..,- gone. The Banque Nationale de Credit and others, Hospitals like SODEC and others,- gone. Schools like les Soeurs du Sacre-Coeur (where I went to school for 14 years), Gerard Gourge, and dozens of others - gone. Supermarkets like Twins, Carribean, and others - gone. Whole neighborhoods, people, GONE in 35 seconds, long enough for a commercial jingle.
Everywhere concrete slabs, collapsed roofs and walls, broken bodies, broken lives. Whole houses, just plain gone (Jean-claude's (Zo), and others no longer visible from my terraces, unfamiliar vistas everywhere. Utter uncertainty. Living in the present moment, one breath at a time, or at least feeling like it. No project. Fuzzines about the future.
Every instant is at once sublime and tragic. A chapter is definitiveley over, for Ayiti and each and every one of us here. There's at times waves of sadness that threatens to engulf me before the suffering of thousands- orphans, widows and widowers, who've lost family, limbs, homes and hope. There's sadness before the sudden departures of dear friends and perplexity at the apparent randomness of deaths and survivals (who handpicked who?), and also at this peculiar destiny of ours - us, the haitian people.
Paradoxically there's a sweetness to living simply outdoors, back to bare essentials: cooking, eating, bathing outside, sleeping together under the stars, like we're back to the time of Taino Indians. People are living in the streets and in most neighborhoods, the sense of solidarity is strong, as people are sharing news, stories, tears, laughter, food and water. I thoroughly savor it - except there's the tragic circumstances around it all. As we are all survivors of a momentous event, we all wonder about possible meaning and implications for us.
I watch my mother's shrieking frame lying in her bed in the front yard, knowing she would have preferred to not be a part of this (read: alive), and I watch Mario's daughter, being her palyful, cheerful, bundle-of-joy self, celebrating her seventh anniversary today, running about the grounds in front of the house that we all must stay away from for now. I watch Bos Candio and his courageous wife who has a broken ankle, camping with us for two days and nights, before finally getting her leg amputated this afternoon at a nearby hospital, all with a serene smile on her face.
I am truly in the midst of a mystery, Yakini.
What I know for sure, my old life is gone and I have no regrets. I cannot go back to doing things the same, especially professionally. All those dead bodies under concrete slabs, the real killer rather than the actual quake.

I'll write another time about how I think you all could assist most efficiently.

Much Love to you all


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