This quote breaks into the story:
“Well, here it goes, boys!”
Stephen Shankster called out some final instructions and bits of advice as we pulled up to a wide field that was now serving as a “tent city” – neighborhoods of sheets draped over crossed poles or sticks, housing thousands of Haitians who have lost their homes and their few possessions.
“This is a moderately sized tent city,” Stephen explained. “There’s probably around 3,000 people living here.” Stephen is a German Baptist who has volunteered with Christian Aid Ministries in Haiti for the past five years and is fluent in Creole. Seth and I, along with four CAM missionaries and two Haitians, were in the back of a covered truck filled with hygiene kits, tarps and other relief materials. The living conditions in these cities are beyond deplorable. The hastily erected tents are stacked almost on top of each other and there is no running water and no sewage. The only food and water they receive is brought in by relief organizations or the U.S. military.
“Back up against that wall, really close,” Stephen called out to the driver. “Closer! It has to be narrow enough that only one person can fit through at a time so they don’t mob us.”
“Looks like we chose the local bathroom to hand our stuff out,” Daniel Horner, another German Baptist working with CAM, observed as he gingerly alighted from the back of the truck. By now a crowd of curious onlookers was quickly closing in on the truck. Their wild eyes emanated desperation. For a moment I could feel their anguish as I looked into their eyes and I saw myself. These were people, just like me, with hopes and dreams for their futures. Now by circumstances completely out of their control they were here in this squalor, existing little better than animals.
At first the distribution went relatively smoothly….
Ah, but now you shall have to visit 3 Guys in Haiti for the before and after portions!