Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Haiti had a horrible earthquake. At their best, the people are very poor. Many are subsistence farmers. When the tremors started, people went inside for shelter....the worst decision they could make. Those that lived, ran outside. Buildings fell on the occupants.

The TV and print news tells of panic, starvation, smell of dead and rotting bodies, lack of medical care which resulted in fairly simple injuries getting so badly infected, the doctors had no choice but to amputate. I read where doctors were using saws and scissors for lack of proper instruments. Roads are so bad that medical supplies can't get through.

At first, people were very good. They rallied to get their friends out. They dug with their bare hands. Miracle after miracle happened. People who were buried for 10 days, were found alive. Time passes. How many days can people go without a drink of clean water or something to eat? After a while, riots broke out. Aid workers had to use teargas to get people to take their turn. Women complained that the men pushed to the head of the line. Women got nothing. Children were orphaned. Some people lost their entire families.

I see that the Haitians are people with the same love and concern for their family you will find anywhere there are people. The living are very worried about the missing.

I was prepared to point to Jared Diamond's book, "Collapse" to explain how Haiti ruined their environment with lack of foresight and too many children. I was prepared to point to their corrupt government. I know that good people have been concerned for Haiti for decades. This country was in trouble long before the earthquake. There are other causes for their troubles, beside the earthquake.

Haiti shares the same island with the Dominican Republic....which is doing very well. Why isn't Haiti also doing well?

Doctors are interviewed on television, near tears or in shock. One after the other states that it is by far the most traumatic experience of their lives....responding to the needs of the sick and injured. Slowly, food, water, medical aid gets through. reconstruction of property and of people's lives will go on for a long time.

This is not the time to point to Haiti to accuse the citizens of poor government and poor education. It is time to help.


Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year's eve. The boys and girls want to go to Times Square and see the ball drop. Ho Hum. Boring. It's cold out there. You can't bring a backpack filled with something to eat and drink. It might contain a bomb. There are no bathrooms for the crowd. To get there, one has to take the train....two hours each way. At one time, I would have wanted to do this. Not any more. Such adventures are for the young.

I am in bed at 9PM, listening to the radio. Art Bell is taking predictions about the new year. People call in and make a prediction. Art reads the predictions from last year. Some of it came true. Most did not. It is a fun tradition. I listen every year, but have never called in.

It is morning. January 1, 2010. Funny to write a new date. I must be careful when I write out my first check of the year. Sometimes I get the date wrong...wrong year. My email is full of good wishes from friends far away...and some just next door. It is fun to read them. Then I think which other person would enjoy this missile? I forward them and delete the original. It takes a while to clear email.

Ordinary things take up my time. I make a new batch of file folders for my income tax records. They say 2010. The 1009 folders can't be put away just yet. There are tax documents coming in and some bills, too.

I get my checkbook out. The register is labeled 2009. It is put with the tax folders. A new check register is inserted in the folder. It says 2010. I am getting used to the new year. The next checks I write will be for paying property taxes. Darn government, but there is no getting away from paying property taxes.

Last chore for the switchover is to print out my blog for 2009. I read everything all over. Did all that stuff happen in just 12 months? I guess so. There is much more that did not get written about. If I write about the repairs to the beach house...the storm doors, electrical updates, the reader will think it took place in 2010, but this occurred in 2009. Too late to write about it.
Each page of my blog is printed out and placed in a three ring binder. I write 2009 on the cover of the binder. The new, empty binder says 2010.

Others are watching the parade or the football game. I feel like Bob Cratchit...clerking away the holiday.