From my friend at U of Miami:
I returned Tuesday am from a 5-day stint at our University of Miami/Project Medishare field hospital at the Port Au Prince Airport. I’ll follow up with more details, pictures, and video, but I wanted to share a few quick thoughts/observations:
There are some really amazing people working on the Haiti relief effort. The hospital is run by volunteer MD’s, nurses, logisticians, laborers who are working 20 hours/day for days on end in very difficult conditions. The private sector – both corporations and individual donors – was absolutely critical to getting the hospital up and running through donations of planes, fuel, equipment, supplies, and money. The US military have played a key role in assisting with logistics, air transportation, security, medevac, and medical care.
One of my favorite moments was when we met a Mexican search-and-rescue team who visited the camp (see photo). They retold an interesting story. Their team and a team from Brazil met at a collapsed building where they anticipated many trapped victims. The Brazilian team was highly technical in their approach, and they left the scene to get their heavy equipment to methodically remove the debris to get to the victims. After the Brazilian team left the scene to get their equipment, the Mexican team proceeded to enter the rubble, digging with shovels and crawling on their elbows. When they were tired, they slept right where they were in the debris. When the Brazilian team returned with their heavy equipment 5 days later, the Mexican team had already made 13 rescues and recovered many more dead. The Mexican team’s leader told us that the Brazilian team was ticked off because the final score was Mexico 13, Brazil 0.
One more thing — if you’re looking to make a donation that directly contributes to our efforts, please consider donating to the CI Foundation. CI’s Sam Perales has been working tirelessly as an IT volunteer to assist us in our efforts. He is willing to stay long term, but needs to start paying the bills. His foundation does other cool stuff like refurbishing donated PC’s and reusing them in data centers in Haiti (before the quake). You can donate to his foundation online:
Communication Integration (CI) Foundation
I offer this as an impression from someone who has been there in the last few days. It is the entire contents of his email to me. It’s important to remember that the real work continues long after the media coverage has moved on.
Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.