The Dec. 22 issue of The Catholic Review includes the fourth and final article from my trip in late October to Port-au-Prince Haiti with the leaders of Catholic Relief Services. Ken Hackett, Carolyn Woo and Tucson Bishop Gerald Kicanas were a delight, as were all the CRS workers in the field. Communications Officer Jean-Daniel LaFontant got me into the audience with Sophia Martelly, the First Lady of Haiti, and SUV companions Jim Stipe and Guito Morand, pictured at the top of the post, made a whirlwind trip go by even faster.
Jim is a photographer for CRS, which graciously allowed The Review the use of his very good stuff. He is good company. Guito was our driver for four days. He is fearless, highly skilled, and able to manuever roads that would intimidate most New York taxi drivers.
I made my first visit to Haiti in April 2010, three months after the earthquake. When I went back with CNS 18 months later, some halting progress could be seen. I saw my first trash truck, and more men in makeshift wheelchairs, earthquake amputees who were likely still immobile on my first trip.
I’ll be heading back to Haiti next month with Deacon Rod Mortel and Archbishop O’Brien, who will dedicate the James Stine College in St. Marc.. It’s the high school for kids who have outgrown Le Bons Samaritans, the grade school that has gotten strong support from the Archdiocese.