Final Post

Well folks, the trip is finally coming to a close. We (Andy, Estelle, and Sarah) are in Santo Domingo, Eric is still in Port-au-Prince, and Glen took off early on the 11th flying out of Jacmel.

Overall the trip was a great success.  We collected quality GPS observations at 30 sites across the country that will be used to develop better models of the increased seismic hazards resulting from the January 12th earthquake. These models can then be used by the Haitians to guide their efforts in creating and implementing proper building  codes.

It’s been an amazing trip to say the least with ups and downs, beauties and tragedies, and technical glitches and solutions. We were stretched as scientists to reach out in a country that truly needs education about earthquakes and what to do when earthquakes strike. All teams did an excellent job communicating with broad audiences via radio, television, public talks, and private meetings with officials.

We would like to thank our many colleagues from the Bureau of Mines and Energy, the numerous individuals we met on the road (Gregory Chevry, Samy Sterlin, Tenior, Jillian, Samuel Nap, ….), the high school adminstrators who let us interrupt their daily programs, the college students in Mirebalais who shared their experiences with us, the radio DJ’s and station administrators, the local government officials, ministers, and the missionaries.

As we leave Haiti, our rich experiences have left us with some indelible impressions. Despite much progress across the countryside by local governments and NGOs, infrastructure development is still in need. After the January 12 earthquake a vast school system has been crushed, and many of the educators and future leaders of this country are gone. But Haiti is very rich in one remarkable source: its people. Despite the hardships of Haitian life, despite the heartache and loss from the earthquake, the spirit, the compassion, and the optimism of the Haitian people lives on. If the world can help not only rebuild the structures that have been destroyed, but help develop the nation as a whole (water, roads, education, farming), the Haitian people have the capacity and will to prosper.

We have met people who could take the mantle of leadership today. We’d like to make special comment about people like Gregory Chevry. Greg Chevry is a business and community leader in Mirebalais who is working to distribute water throughout the north, pushing through plans for a new technical university to help replace what was lost in PaP, and sheltering homeless students. Greg was drafted by his community to run for the Haitian senate (figure below), until the national government quashed the election. He is intelligent, compassionant, and honest, and must be one on many who can help lead Haiti out of this crises if given the resources.

Fusion + Grace = Greg Chevry Senate

We have also seen Haiti’s future in the faces of its children, who are friendly, smart, inquisitive, playful, and optimistic.  Below are a just few of the many, many smiling faces we have seen.

We wish to close by expressing our deepest sympathies to the Haitian people as they rebuild from this great tragedy.

Haitian flag a half-mast.

Andy, Estelle, and Sarah

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13 Comments »

  1. Bellzie Said:

    So sad to see you go… :( But thanks for your patience throughout your experience in Haiti, au revoir!

  2. Great reporting – and great work!

  3. lynne van deren Said:

    Hi to all of you from Sarah’s mom,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with me and my friends.
    We are so proud of you. Obviously, each of you participated in integral parts of an amazing journey.

    Because I am Sarah’s mom, I must emphasize how proud I am of my daughter. I can not imagine being involved in such a life-changing experience.

    Sarah, I look forward to knowing more and seeing all the photos of your peers and the beautiful people you encountered
    and love.

    Love you as high as the moon and back,

    mom

    P.S. Love your new hat, too!

    mom

  4. Jerry Cook Said:

    Don’t go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We would like to know the results of your research.
    Don’t stop the blog now, we need to know more!
    Please continue updating the blog.
    -Science 7-2

    • haitigps Said:

      It will take us about 3 weeks to process the data. We will consider posting it at that time. Thanks for sharing our ride.

    • haitigps Said:

      Thanks guys! Eric is supposed to be back anytime now. We’ll do our best to update the blog with information concerning the science. That’s a really good idea to keep it updated. Thank you so much for your support the whole way through. We’ve really enjoyed your comments and questions.

  5. Dear Sarah and Macly,

    Thanks for participating in Teachers Without Borders’ podcast about Haiti. Here’s the link to the podcast: http://teacherswithoutborders.org/pages/podcasting

    I’d be interested to learn more about your findings when the data are processed.

    Best,
    Solmaz

  6. Marcelo Assumpcao Said:

    Congratulations for the great work, both scientific and humanitarian!

    As co-chair of the AGU Meeting of the America, to be held next August 08-13, in Iguassu Falls, Brazil, I would like to encourage you all to participate and contribute to the especial Union session on the Haiti earthquake:

    U13: The 2010 Haiti Earthquake, Lessons for Seismic Hazard and Societal Impacts in the Caribbean

    Convened by Eric Calais (Purdue), Claude Prepetit (B. Mines) and Jaime Urrutia (UNAM).

    Abstract deadline: March 31st.
    please see: http://www.agu.org/meetings/ja10

    Thank you

  7. All the best to Haiti and the People there. Everybody keep up the good work!

  8. Matthew Said:

    I’m really impressed. You guys did great job out there. I wish there were more people like you.

    Matthew(a.k.a cargpssystem.budgal.pl)

  9. Hoogy Said:

    Hope you happy ..

    Thanks for share much knowledge.

  10. Bill Leeds Said:

    I love the photos! Congratulations.


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