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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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02.03.10         michael's insights  

2-3-10


Today was the first day since I've been here that there was a visible
improvement in Port Au Prince. It was the third day of the "food
surge" by the World Food Program, and we have seen many, many people
carrying big bags if beans and rice. It also seems that every 5th or
6th car on the road is some type of relief vehicle. It feels like
there is less tension in the air, and people are starting to smile
again. Matthew and I both noticed this and we had our first discussion
about the "end game", trying to determine how much longer we would be here and what
we would like to accomplish before we leave. We realize that there are a lot of people
that we will not be able to help who need it, but we have
to focus on what we do best, and that is locating the hard to find places
and marking them. It's really hard to beat GPS co-ordinates for
directions.

Mathew confided that he would like to wrap things up no later than a
week from today. So I guess what I am saying is, it looks like we are
seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and we will be coming home soon.

We have some unfinished business still to attend to, like finding many more
orphanages as well as helping the ones who need food. Right now the plan is to
turn our attention back to orphanages we haven't heard anything from.
We need to tag these with coordinates and turn this information over to a long term solution (NGO).
We have already given our lists to many organizations, and only a
handful have taken notice. It seems only the SA, Canadian Navy, volunteers we work
with here and in the states, and our new ally have actually done anything with the information
we have provided. We believe this information has absolutely saved lives (literally) and it is
starting to feel that we have accomplished a lot of what we came to do.

This morning we checked in on the food delivery for the slum city, and
this man and his family loves us. They will distribute the food on Friday, and
that will feed 300 people for the next month.

Next we delivered 33 cases of tuna to our Canadian Navy friends in
Leogane, they have already distributed half the food we gave them.

After that we tracked down and GPS tagged two missing orphanages in Leogane.
They were both very difficult to find because all we had were names.
Both seemed to be doing ok, but they needed food and water. Within an
hour of tagging the last one, I sent the GPS data to Josh (Canadian
Navy) and he was on his way to deliver food and water. That's how it should work!
Between the 5 we found and the 3 he found, 8 orphanages in Leogane
will be eating for the next month.

Josh also told me that after some time, he will turn the data over to
a German NGO he knows in town who will be able to support them for the
long run.

We returned in the evening and had to track down a very important
package that a friend of a friend had brought, it was money and a spare
iPhone. We have been trying to find these guys for 3 days now. How did we finally find it?
That's right, GPS coordinates, the guys with the package were deeply embedded in a
hidden base, which was extremely difficult to find.

The next few days we will be making several deliveries and turning our
attention back to tagging in PAP.

I'm officially on anti-malaria medication. Not to say I have it, just
that the Salvation Army doctor recommended it. Especially since I was
having a few of the symptoms, like complete exhaustion, sweat/fever
bouts etc. I'm feeling better already, but it also could have just
been exhaustion catching up to me.

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