WE HEARTED HAITI
Alex before the quake.
I spent almost all of October in Haiti shooting a piece for VBS on drugs used in Vodou zombification rituals. The Montana, a hotel where I once ate a slightly overcooked spaghetti carbonara and complained that the flan was "decent but really not that great," is now a heap of smoking rubble filled with the bodies of at least 200 people. In the pictures of destruction I saw a photo of my guide, Alex, covered in blood. He had been buried alive and pulled himself out of the remains of his home. The chances of him showing up in the New York Times photo blog and me seeing it are roughly one in a million. We have not been able to contact other people who were involved in the Nzambi production, it's possible they're dead.
Haiti is a country which was already on the brink of total chaos, where you could not walk the streets alone (even in the day) and sometimes gasoline couldn't be found under the best of circumstances. Our body guard regularly threatened to "turn people into a goat" and the people being threatened were regularly sincerely scared of that happening. I can hardly think of anywhere less equipped to deal with this kind of disaster.
Here are some pictures from our trip if you're interested in seeing a bit of what the joint looked like before it became Hell on earth. Dana Lavoie took them and wrote all the captions.
I am not normally one to suggest “getting involved” but maybe you should think about getting involved. Just do the research so you don't end up contributing gas money to the Fugees reunion bus or something.