From Jacmel to Port au Prince

Finally some news from the South! We arrived in Jacmel on the 8th. Every hotel was filled by NGO people and Doctors. We set up a temporary camp of the ground of a lovely hotel in the heights of Marigot. But of course, no shower and no internet. But the people were really nice and always tried to help us. Glen found a way out of the country on the 11th once our 3 stations, JACM, MARI and TROU were running.

Estelle and Frantz checking the receiver on the roof of Jacmel's police station. Note in the backgound the tilted house!

Glen, Hebert and Frantz setting up MARI in Marigot.

One month after the earthquake, Haiti is in national holidays so people can pray for the victims of the earthquake. Starting from Friday and until Monday everything was closed in Jacmel. We saw lots of parties on the beach and lots of celebrations in Marigot and Jacmel. The only problem for us was that we were running out of gas on Friday morning. We were supposed to pick up TROU, in Fond Trouin, in the middle of the mountains, and JACM, on the roof of Jacmel’s police station on Friday’s afternoon. Because of the gas problem we were only able to go to JACM in the middle of the afternoon. It was actually the best time to climb on the roof of the 2 and half story building of the police station because the police officers don’t want to go back inside and don’t allow people inside at night. The building wasn’t actually badly damaged, only superficial cracks. Then the rest of my day of Friday was spend with 2 teachers of Jacmel who are organizing school-camps on the beach. It was a great opportunity to explain what we are doing here, what is an earthquake and what are the first things to do when the ground is shaking. Then I went back to my camp on the ground of the “colline enchantee” where I was invited  for dinner by the owner of the place, one of them being a teacher of the school-camps. They offered us some of their own gas and contacted people of the city to help us to find enough gas to make our way to Port au Prince. It was so nice to see how everybody in Jacmel and Marigot tried to help us as best as they can. So finally, early this morning we filled our tank and picked up our 2 stations and drove back to the Bureau of Mines in Port au Prince. The road in the mountains North of Jacmel is still really unstable because of many landslides that followed the earthquake but the Canadian militaries are doing a good job on stabilizing the roads.

Rocks falling on the road between Jacmel and Fond Trouin

I arrived in Port au Prince in the beginning of the afternoon and met with Eric, Sarah and Andy few hours later. We downloaded all our data and made a series of backup. As a conclusion of the GPS campaign in the South I would like to thank a number of people who made our work possible. Since most of them didn’t speak English I’d like to do it in French.

Tout d’abord merci a Frantz et Hebert, notre technicien et notre chauffeur du bureau de Mines pour le dur travail qu’ils ont fourni pendant ces 3 dernières semaines. Merci à tout les responsables de sites GPS pour leur accueil a n’importe quelle heure du jour et de la nuit, cette campagne n’aurait pas pu se faire sans leur bonne volonté! Un grand Merci a Christian, Catherine et Jean Pierre, de l’Hôtel du village de Port Salut, pour leur accueil chaleureux et pour nous avoir fait découvrir un Haïti paradisiaque. Merci également aux Maires de Port Salut, Cayes et Arniquer pour nous avoir permis de réaliser une interview en leur compagnie pour expliquer notre travail et familiariser la population avec les risques sismiques en Haïti. Merci également a Madame Mannie, Michèle et Michel de la Colline enchantée pour nous avoir permis de trouver un endroit ou dormir a Jacmel et pour nous avoir aider a trouver de l’essence quand la situation devenais critique. Un merci personnel pour les docteurs volontaires de l’Eglise Luthérienne de Jacmel pour les soins et l’attention qu’ils mont gentiment apporte quand je n’allais pas très fort. Merci aux militaires Canadiens de Jacmel pour leur aide dans notre recherche d’un moyen de rejoindre le DR. Et enfin merci a tous les Haïtiens qui ont participe de près ou de loin au succès de notre travail ici!

Estelle

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3 Comments »

  1. Bellzie Said:

    Is it time to leave Haiti? :(

  2. Fascinating blog, Estelle.

    I am a Geography teacher in Northern Ireland and am trying to gather some information on the Haiti quake for my pupils. I noticed in this entry that you got to speak to some school children to educate them on what to do when an earthquake strikes. Do you know if earthquake drills are practised regularly in Haiti? To what extent has the government sought to help prepare its population to know how to prepare for and respond to an earthquake?

    Thanks in anticipation of your reply.

    • haitigps Said:

      There was no program of earthquake awareness or drills in the schools in Haiti – maybe things will change now…


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