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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


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01.26.10         michael's insights  

1-26-10


We are slowly getting more and more support for our orphanage
assessments. This morning I was introduced at the Salvation Army
meeting and they are becoming more and more supportive. We have
several contacts now who are willing to help us, but as of this
moment, nothing has actually moved. A small French team of doctors was
supposed to visit one of the orphanages we first contacted, but we got
back so late that they've already gone to their hotels for the night.
I've also made some good solid ground contacts with the Mormon church
who have also agreed to help us, but until it actually happens, I'm
not counting on it.

Today we visited a few cities north east today. One we had tried to
find our first day here and couldn't. It was actually an orphanage/
clinic referred to me by Brian Henry, one of my workshop attendees. I
spoke with the son of the director before I came and told him I would
help. We got better directions this time and eventually did find it.
They have had no contact since the earth quake, running at maximum
capacity- they needed medical goods and supplies. While we were there,
we asked if they knew of an orphanage that had 500 kids in the area
and they gave us some places to check.

This was our original plan because I had received 2 emails about an
orphanage out there that desperately needed help, and we had no idea
where to look.

We found this huge compound, and even helped evacuate an older man to
the main road so he could get a taxi to the hospital. The compound
looked like it was doing pretty good, but they still needed some help.
Again we asked about the big missing orphanage, and he directed us up
the road.

So we get there...and get this...there are freaking 200+ kids out
there under a few tarps. Completely homeless. There were about 6 adults
taking care of them and it looked like they were cooking up a big vat
of rice. Some looked like they needed minor medical attention. Of all
the orphanages we have found, we believe this one needs it most.

We found a 4th orphanage in the way back- 25 kids- their main house
was destroyed- they need help too.

After this visit, Mathew and I had a talk- it's time to start moving
food and supplies in a safe manner. All the work we are doing really
means nothing unless there is a result. From their perspective, we
show up, collect their data and they start hoping aid will come, but
it never does. In a sense, Mathew and I become somewhat responsible
for those kids until aid is delivered.

Tomorrow this will be our main goal, to actually move aid ourselves if
no one else will. The trickiest part will be security and doing it in
a safe way for everyone- I have a few ideas...big day tomorrow. My
number one priority will be getting something to the group of 200+.

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