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What Does It Have To Do With You?

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These are three Haitian individuals in the aftermath of the earthquake--more than one generation of Haiti looking at the camera. They may look fine and safe but we cannot know the loved ones they have lost, the pain they are experiencing.  In my last blog regarding Haiti, the early estimates of fatalities were at 50,000.  Now estimates are anywhere from 100,000 to 200,000.  And how will Haitians ever know what happened to their loved ones?  No one is recording numbers, taking names.  The dead are being carted off in bulldozers.  Cemeteries cannot hold all the dead. Many are being cremated. It is difficult for me to imagine my partner, mother and father, mother-in-law, my sister, daughter, nephew, my friends carted off in bulldozers.  But I try.  I feel I must try to imagine this kind of deep anguish in order to have just a faint semblance of understanding--what these individuals are suffering, enduring.  People are dying from broken arms, from simple cuts that can be healed quickly with antibiotics.  But antibiotics aren't getting there fast enough.  

Last night George Clooney organized a telethon which was broadcast from London, New York City, and Los Angeles.  Actors read testimonies, singers sang.  Sting sang, "How can you say that you're not responsible?  What does it have to do with me?"  ("Driven to Tears"). In my classroom, I often hear "What does it have to do with me?" regarding issues in history or current events.  I try to bring my students into a globally-linked framework of thinking.  It's so difficult when we are so far away both geographically and mentally. I am hoping that now with texting, Facebook, blogging, skyping, etc.--people will feel more linked, closer, neighborly, connected.  

Partners in Health and many other medical organizations are awaiting your help:  http://www.standwithhaiti.org/haiti

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I post Partners in Health because of their longstanding connection and presence in Haiti.  Below is a picture of one of their medical doctors inside their makeshift medic tent.  Just $5, $10, $25 will contribute in the effort to help them construct many more medical areas and will also help these medical personnel have access to medicines and supplies their patients sorely need.  

In his song, "Driven to Tears," Sting sings:  "My comfortable existence is reduced to a shallow meaningless party/ Seems that when some innocent die/ All we can offer them is a page in some magazine/ Too many cameras and not enough food . . . What's to become of our world/ who knows what to do."  I think many people have thankfully responded and for those of us who cannot get out to Haiti, supporting Partners in Health and other organizations is the answer.  

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