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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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01.27.10         michael's insights  

1-27-10


Had our first actual aid move today. When I woke up this morning, I
didn't really have a plan, but knew it was time to take action and
move something to an orphanage, preferably the one we found yesterday
that had the 200 kids.

When the Salvation Army guys came in we told them about the big
orphanage and they assigned someone to drive out with us to confirm.
Long story short, he was as shocked as we were. We came back reported.
within an hour SA had us heading to pick up 7 cases of food and some
tents. I told SA how grateful I was for their help and their leader
said "you are the reason we are helping, you stuck it out and made
things happen. We are glad to help you."

I'm extremely grateful to the Salvation Army- they were the first to
step up and actually supply us with something tangible. I can't go
into details, but there was some red tape picking up the stuff, and I
was told it may be harder to get it in the future, so we are still
looking for a long term partner.

The truck was over filled and we covered it in a plain blue tarp.
While in most places this isn't a big deal, in Port Au Prince, it is.
If someone finds out we have aid, it can turn into a riot in a matter
of seconds.

Matthew has dreadlocks, which is common in gangs here. (and yes he
looks like a gang member). I dress as military style as possible, and
they tell me I look like special forces. I also wear gear on my belt
under my shirt and it looks like I'm armed. Most Haitians look at us
and are confused as to who we are and what we are doing, so they leave
us alone.

We rode the entire way (about an hour) on top of the boxes, got there,
set up 10 tents, dropped off the food and left. It felt really awesome
to finally help out. They were very grateful and happy to see us and
get the aid.

Just wanted to say great job to everyone!

We are still looking for an aid organization to work closely with us
who can move a little quicker with less red tape.

Matthew is feeling better and better about what we are doing.

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