Saturday, January 16, 2010

Marin Farmer Mark Pasternak reports first-hand from Haiti

newsletter header
Devil's Gulch Ranch &
DG Educational Services News
December 2009
News from Haiti
As some of you might  know, the entire Pasternak family went down to Haiti 2 weeks ago, to continue the Farmer to Farmer volunteer work Myriam is involved in which helps locals learn how to raise rabbits. Haiti Project

The family 'vacation' turned into a disaster, when the earthquake hit. The family is safe, I just spoke to Mark, and he and the girls are in transit back to SFO this afternoon. Myriam decided to stay on longer to help. KRON will be meeting them at the airport around 7:30 to conduct a live interview. KRON  also did a phone interview while Mark was in the Dominican Republic which you can hear at: KRON  There has been multiple news coverage:  KRON News   and Marin IJ

Below is an email received from Mark yesterday. Thanks to all who called out of concern.

Friends and Family,

The girls and I arrived last night in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic by C-130 US Coast Guard evacuation plane from Port a Prince. Myriam is staying there a few days to help a bit more.

The devastation is not to be believed. When the earthquake struck, we were just arriving at Rivera Foid, a compound run by Haitian sisters with a school and clinic, approx 30 miles south of Port a Prince. The 3 story school building completely collapsed, killing many, if not most of the 300-400 school children. We were pulling children from the rubble most of the night, doing triage and helping as much as possible with the limited resources available. The girls were troopers. We returned to Signeau, a hospital, school and farm, in the town of Leo Gane, in the country, 30 miles or so further south the next day around noon. We were able to get a brief email messege out that evening from a nearby UN compound where they advised us to go to the Port a Prince airport ASAP and evacuate. The girls and I did that Thursday AM, but Myriam stayed. After dropping us off at the airport, she went on to a village in the mountains about an hour North called Gran Boulage with 2 sisters in their jeep with their driver. Her plan is to leave within a day or 2.

Most multistory buildings within 50-100 mile radius of Port a Prince have been destroyed; UN headquarters, national government buildings, international embasseys, the national cell phone headquarters, schools, hospitals. The sea port is completely unusable, so they cannot unload cargo ships with aid supplies. The airport is very small, and cannot accommodate many planes at a time. It also has limited infrastructure for unloading cargo. Already planes cannot refuel at Port a Prince, limiting their payload capacity because they must fly there with enough fuel to fly out. Supplies of water, food and fuel in Port a Prince will shortly run out creating the very real possibility of widespread chaos in a city of 1-2 million people. There is very little heavy equipment of the kind that will be necessary to excavate many of the destroyed buildings, so that process will take many weeks, creating huge sanitation risks.

Haiti will be needing as much help as it can get.

The girls and I should be home Saturday evening.



Devil's Gulch Ranch & DG Educational Services

Safe Unsubscribe
DG Educational Services | PO Box 557 | Nicasio | CA | 94946

Posted via email from Doug's posterous

No comments:

Post a Comment