Saturday, November 17, 2007

good in the bad

sure, a lot of people died and a lot of people are without homes. i don't deny that. it's an election year, so of course the mud-slinging has begun. which political party reacted quickly? which party only did it for the votes? how much money has the president put in his own pocket from foreign aid? leptospirosis and dengue education took a backseat to rebuilding efforts - raising the number of deaths and lack of care incredibly (just what the country needs, more deaths). and guess what, it keeps raining.

but not all bad has come out of tropical storm noel. in the time of need, dominicans - rich and poor alike - have stepped up to help their fellow man. (yes, MAN, i don't use inclusive language). from booming factories to private offices, people have pulled together to care for each other. last night we attended mass at Nuestra Senora de la Altragracia - the patron "virgin" saint of santiago's church - and after we walked through the city to waste some time. in nearly every store, restaurant, church and institute, there were boxes upon boxes labeled for the damnificados (the "damned" or just victims of the storm). and the boxes were full.

the archdiocese of santiago held a clothing drive, the board of education held a canned goods drive, factory workers sumppumped homes for free, churches are hosting lunch nearly everyday. a friend of ours is replacing children's lost school supplies.

the government will soon begin to rebuild houses. life here will go back to normal, i guess. is it even possible to return to "normal" after living through such destruction?

amalio and i purged the closets and sent clothes to bonao - one of the hardest hit regions. after packing three boxes full of clothes, i realized that we have too much junk. i knew it before, but being the packrat that i am, i was waiting for... i don't know what to use the stuff. but it's time to move on. we're in the process of "cleaning house." yesterday we packed a huge box of construction paper and assorted school supplies to send to a special school that works with undocumented children and survives on donations. i don't know what else or rather how much we need to get rid of, but the act of packing the boxes is therapeutic.
tomorrow is family day at amalio's old school and we samil will attend his first ever birthday party for his 1year old "friend" genesis... i hope it stops raining!

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