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About Amy Umble: Amy Umble writes about religion and social issues affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Our Digs in Haiti
We’ve had an incredible day, and I hope to blog more about it later. Pete and I are both feeling a little overwhelmed. When you first see the tent cities, at first you can desensitize yourself by just concentrating on the enormity of it. But when you see them up close and realize families truly live like this, it’s a bit much to process. So we’re going to take a little downtime–our first real break since we landed in Haiti.
But I wanted to take a few minutes to describe where we’re staying: Quisqueya Relief Center. It’s an outreach of Quisqueya Christian School. The school started more than 30 years ago to educate the children of Christian missionaries in Haiti. Now, children of aid workers and diplomats attend. Many have gone home since the earthquake. As the students were leaving, medical personnel were landing with nowhere to stay. And Quisqueya Christian School became a relief center.
School is still in session and about 65 students attend. But most of the campus is taken up by medical teams. They come from all over the world and sleep in tents on the grounds, beds on the porches and cots and air mattresses in the classrooms. Some, like the team we are with, have their own projects. For those who show up with a desire to help and no real plans, the center arranges translators and transportation and finds places to go and hold clinics. Some teams go to tent cities, to clinics and to hospitals.
Everyone staying here is very friendly, and we swap stories over dinner, which is usually beans and rice but was hot dogs and french fries last night. At night, the men often play soccer, and some teams have worship time. In the mornings, many watch the sun rise while reading Scriptures, typing on laptops or sending texts back home.