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17623: Ray : Journalist report from Haiti (fwd)

From: Matt Ray <mraymus@yahoo.com>

Healing Hands for Haiti has a radio journalist from Canada staying with us this month and he's sent the following email to us concerning the situation in Port-au-Prince.      There has been some concern about how safe it is in Haiti right now, particularly for foreigners and mission groups.   This is what he had to say (note, this is not an "official report" but a casual email addressed to friends):

Things are fine here, no need at all to be worried about the various demos that have made the news (i think i made a couple with shots in the background, yes i was scared because i found myself in the middle of a bunch of frustrated twenty-five year olds lighting tires on fire and pouring gas on a few cars pushed intot the middle of the street but
other than that one incident all has been fantastic. have had three different visits to Hougans and Mambos for various activities - met a man suffering from aids who says that he hopes the Mambo priestess can cure him...lying on the floor with chickens, his own waste etc near an alter of swords,bottles full of various coloured liquids.....on the top of the neighbourhood known as Carrefour Feuilles....as well have visited the Habitations Leclercs, an eden like place fallen to ruins....have spent so much time walking and talking i actually believe i can understand Creole...dangerous....i can ask the questions but don't really understand the answers...am off with Luck Mervil Wednesday to the south where the quebec singing star will meet members of his Haitian family (he was born here but left for canada at 3)...and that should be a scene. will also meet the leader of popular group here Boukman Experience...LuLu has not been able to get into his house for a few weeks he says as there are armed pro-Aristide supporters there....  Did i say that i felt safe....i do...was with a family in the Delma 60 neighbourhood when a food delivery came from Canada....Anita works in a
factory in Montreal and with her minimum wage job feeds 47 *(yes fourty-seven) members of her family here.

Bring bathing suits to Montana.
Prestige is great beer, and a bottle of Babancourt 15years is twenty bucks, like drinking cognac.
And no i have not yet eaten in the street and no i will not.
My 11 year old sent over a gift of a shirt for an 11 year old girl...i found Marie Ange down the hill from the hotel, living with her mom and infant brother in a one room stick house....you can see the hotel from their doorstep....Marie Ange has no shoes....

i could write forever....so much to see and say...looking foward to your visit, to following you around with a microphone.....

Matt Ray
Volunteer Webmaster & Translator
Healing Hands for Haiti Foundation, Inc.
4212 Danube Court, Bakersfield CA 93308
661.588.4400 - phone
801.516.0168 - efax