By Lane Hartill, CRS Communications Officer, Port-au-Prince. CRS is a Caritas member in the USA.
A lot of people around the world are asking the same question about Haiti: What’s taking so long for food to get out.
Spend a morning at the Petionville golf course, and you’ll have your answer.
The once-swanky country club in Port-au-Prince is now home to some 50,000 displaced Haitians. The camp is already taking on the trappings of a community. In one section of the camp, you can charge your cell phone, call Europe at a phone kiosk, buy vegetables, and get your haircut.
Cardboard street signs are even popping up on some trash-strewn paths. The place is so packed you have to turn sideways to get to some tents.
Behind the flowered bed sheets that serve as walls, you see shadows moving, hear babies crying and smell the akra sizzling in oil, the flat cakes made of flour and spices that Haitians love. The sun feels like it’s closer here, and most people lay in the shade, fanning themselves, trying to figure out how to make it through another day.
Most people keep their eyes averted from one of the hills at the camp. That’s where some Haitians bathe in their underpants, hiding behind some scrawny trees that offer only a suggestion of privacy.