Field update from Georg Willeit Filed Sat 30 Jan 2000 UTC:
Two weeks after the disaster some positive and negative sides of normality are back, even amidst so much need and chaos. On the negative side, some bureaucratic obstacles return. My European Mobile Provider has blocked my mobile connection, because of an increase in usage (they will certainly get paid, that is not the problem). They could be proud that they help to save lives but they prefer to hide behind red tape on usage limits. And if you look than on their homepages, you will find perfect done CSR reports. Old customs issues have started to return as well which annoys me because I don´t understand why goods we need here, have to stay blocked in customs in Santo Domingo.
Most positively slowly the children living here in SOS Village seem to be recovering. They are still scared and won´t sleep indoors in the houses, but they have started laughing and playing again. The mood is getting much more positive and some of the Caribbean atmosphere returns, even though there is still no water and electricity in the village. The children have made kites with the remains of old plastic bags, then they are
letting them fly up in the sky. It is a way of feeling happy and forgeting the present.
Yesterday we built up six large marquee tents which we have got from USAID, and we filled our stores with new food and other provisions,
receiving deliveries both from our own office in Santo Domingo and donated from the Red Crescent. The cooperation between the NGO´s works very well which is good because everyone needs to work together.
I noticed some people commented critically about of SOS's clear opposition against fast foreign adoptions. But the latest reports of child trafficking shows again how important controlling the movement of children is. Practically it is clear on the ground that it is
impossible to know the family situation of each and every child with certaintiy. From here the idea of excavating children from Haiti for a certain period of time the USA or Europe looks clearly wrong. It is not just denying the child and hope of short term reunion with the family they need most of all, just imagine what you would put a child through spending a few weeks or month in a western “paradise” and then coming back to Haiti…