Crossing the border towards Haiti

After spending all day posting and tweeting the latest Haiti earthquake images and updates, I was about to shut down my computer... when I received this blog from Juan Ramón Duarte, our Regional Information Systems Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean, who is based in Mexico. So I leave you for the weekend with his moving entry:

I'm on my way to Haiti on what should be the last leg of a trip that started yesterday in Mexico City. We are traveling on a bus organized by Civil Defense in Dominican Republic (DR). It's a large people carrier for about 20 people that is now carrying mostly water and equipment. We have joined a crew of 5 firefighters that arrived today from Arequipa, Peru. In fact, they kindly agreed to share the bus with us.

A few hours ago I didn't know if we would even manage to find transportation of any kind. I feel much safer now that we are in the convoy.  

Along with us is Frederik, a Haitian carpenter that has been working in DR for some time now. As of today he still hadn't heard from his family. With no money on him he approached the DR authorities and offered to help the crews going to Haiti with translation and local expertise. There is deep sadness in his voice when he speaks of his son and daughter.

I can't help but share his sadness. My heart is aching first, while still in Mexico, because of the news of the death of my long time colleague and friend. That was a shock that affected me more than I could have ever expected. It made everything personal and heightened my commitment to helping those in need.  

Now, in this water-carrier, as I hear Frederik speak of his family I can only think of my own. My wife and baby boy are back in Mexico. I can still feel his cheek rubbing against mine as I was holding him when I went home to say goodbye. I still hold my wife parting words in my heart. These thoughts, these feelings only fuel my commitment. I'm doing this as much for them as I am doing for my friend's family in Haiti, for Frederik's and for all those who may benefit from my work.

Please donate now to Oxfam's Haiti Earthquake Emergency Appeal

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