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From the World

DIARY HAITI / 4. Fiammetta: Miracle, Jean Philippe unearths three boxes of books and school begins again

Continuing the diary of Fiammetta Cappellini, an AVSI representative in Haiti. The earthquake has reduced the surviving population to a state of extreme suffering. But those who remain show a tenacity and a love for life which has much to teach us.  


Continuing the diary of Fiammetta Cappellini, an AVSI representative in Haiti. Just twenty days after an earthquake struck Haiti and in particular the capital of Port-au-Prince, with hundreds of thousands of victims and the surviving population- who was already living in difficult conditions and extreme poverty - reduced to a state of further suffering. But looking closer, as Fiammetta has been able to relate in her letters, if you are not left deceived by the appearances of economic misery and destruction, you will discover in those who remain a tenacity and a love for life which has much to teach us.

In the camps, we work non-stop, but good will is not enough, because the disaster is too great. It so happens that the circumstances show a flash of the good will that our minds never expect, "little things - Fiammetta says - which at other times would not have had great significance instead now become decisive." Like unexpected help, or the incredibly bad weather goes away.

February 2, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Sometimes it happens that even in the worst situations signs of hope come to us, the little things that at other times would not have great significance and instead become decisive in the context of the moment. Between yesterday and today two things happened.

The first: yesterday the sky was alarmingly overcast, and heavy black clouds here say only one thing: rain. We were nervous all day, thinking of our blue tents, so precarious, given the violence of the Caribbean rains ... Instead! Miracle! It is not raining! Okay, I know you will say that happens a lot of times, but not here: when it darkens like this in these parts, it always rains. So we really breathed a sigh of relief!

A second thing that happened, after days of arguing with staff, telling them not to send friends and acquaintances with their curricula to teach school because at this time we need trained, capable and experienced social workers, and no one else. And for days in fact we did not interview any others except these people.

Instead today, surprisingly, just as the children were once again clamoring for school, in front of me appears a former employee, an education director who I had not seen for at least three years. And what does he tell me? That his school is gone and he can no longer teach, and he has lost his home and now lives with his family at the new camp on Route Neuve.

Well, it seemed destined. We hired him immediately and tomorrow ... we begin! The usual Jean Philippe has unearthed three boxes of books and notebooks, and Simon has promised to raise the other two tents in record time. Tomorrow, school. We can’t wait!

Fiammetta Cappellini

In the United States, donations for the AVSI program "Rebirth of the Human in Haiti " are tax deductible:

- on-line www.avsi-usa.org , via Pay -Pal

- via check ( payable to AVSI-USA) to 529 14th Street, NW, suite 994, Washington DC 20045, with "Haiti emergency" in the memo.

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