I was taking a little stroll today with my dear Mama, who is here visiting/escaping the cold. We passed by this sweet cottage on Rialto, that had this sign in their garden bed. You Are Here. I was so happy in that instant to be HERE - a gorgeous, sunshine-y day in Venice, bright blue skies and friendly people waving their hellos. I was so full of appreciation, but also sadness, because as lovely of an afternoon as I was having ... I knew that people in Haiti are living a real life horror movie as we speak.
Poor Haiti - literally. They've been through so much already. It seems like at least every year some horrific disaster goes down, the rest of the world feels bad for a minute, and then the interest trails off, until another flood or earthquake ruins them again. This time is different. It's the worst EVER, bad on top of bad. I was out of the country last year when the television signal thing switched over to digital, and I've just never bothered doing anything about it, so I've been spared the constant images beaming to us from the ravaged Haitian nightmare. I'm grateful for that, because I have a tendency to internalize the pain of others until I become a mess myself. But the photos I've seen, and the stories I've heard (and I have two friends with family down there that spent some dreadful time hand-wringing until they got the all-clear on their folks down there) are just too much to bear.
Let's please KEEP them in our thoughts this time. Donate if you can (Text "Yele" to 501501 and a $5 donation will be added to your phone bill from Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti Organization - the biggest text-based fundraising for disaster relief in history), and I think we all can. After that, let's see what we can do about helping them in the bigger picture. The disasters are so bad down there because the country is so poor and the infrastructure is so shoddy, and no one ever does anything major about it, so when disaster strikes, it's a living hell. I don't know what the answers are, but really, enough is enough.
Again, it's a wonderful day in sunny Venice, and the best thing we can do is APPRECIATE what we have every single day, and share what we have the best we can. Because YOU ARE HERE.