It's happening again. Deja vu. I thought after Katrina, lessons would be learned, and that the next time disaster struck, it would be handled better. And maybe it has been, but from all that I have seen from Haiti, it is playing like a repeat episode of a bad drama ... scenes of anguished faces, desperate pleas for help, streets littered with corpses and people deprived of the basics of life .... while the basics for life sit stockpiled at the airport.
After the earthquake the world responded immediately - and generously. The cries of the those plunged in darkness and despair were heard. Monies were raised in record time and volunteers, supplies and planes were dispatched. There was - and is - a will to assist. Sadly the challenge has been to effectively coordinate the distribution of the life saving food, water and medicines to the survivors who are in urgent need. CNN just reported that it is estimated that as many as 20,000 earthquake survivors are dying every day due to the lack of medical treatments and basic essentials. Preventable deaths.
How can this be happening yet again? Life is a precious gift. The Haitians who are alive have already survived a catastrophic event - only to face a second life threatening hurdle. Every death now - especially those caused by starvation or lack of water is preventable and inexcusable.
One of the most moving moments I witnessed was the spirit of a woman pulled from a flattened building after six days. Her husband was waiting for her, and when she saw him, she raised her arms in praise and burst into song. She was singing her thanks for being alive. My take away - reminder to honour the gift that is my life.
The blackboard found from a collapsed school serving as a tomb for 130 perished children had a message written in chalk by the teacher the day of the earthquake ... it read "May God receive them with open arms".
We can do better. We must.