In late September, photojournalist David Snyder traveled to Haiti for CRS. His mission was to document what he found in the flood-ravaged country. The following is the first of his Haiti diary entries.
Friday, September 26, 2008 Gonaives, Haiti: Got into Port-au-Prince yesterday and drove up to Gonaives today. Hurricane Ike really devastated the city, affecting most, if not all, of the city’s 350,000 residents. I was here once before – in 2004, following Hurricane Jeanne – which also seriously damaged the city. Took a ride out tonight with CRS staff to conduct an assessment of the needs of the city. CRS has been providing emergency food rations through partner agencies Caritas Haiti and the Missionaries of Charity. Next week, they plan to start cash-for-work projects, using local labor to clear schools of the mud that now clogs every surface of the city. Today’s assessment was a chance to look around for suitable school sites. The people here in Gonaives have been tired and stressed since the nearly three weeks now since Ike struck. You have to be careful on such assessments not to build expectations, taking care as well to select schools whose rehabilitation can have the most impact in the quickest amount of time. It can be a delicate balance.
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