Dianne Llanos (06.29.11, 5:09 AM): I would like to see more pictures in here...
Rick Davis (02.20.10, 8:52 PM): Michael the fact that I am offended does not mean that I understand it was not personal. They knew I was deployed by Bob; he stood there and told them that. The animus displayed to me was a result of internal SA politics not anything related to me as an individual. I understand your opinion of those persons I have a different opinion. I respect what you and Mathieu did immensely. I have nothing but disgust for those individuals' behavior. I have, sadly, seen exactly the same at other places when again lives were in the balance. Very sad. When I encouraged you to work in the system I was aware that the system is not always operating properly. Again lives in the balance and some people have to play politics.
Michael Andrew (02.20.10, 3:11 PM): On the other hand...in all fairness to the 2 gentlemen we are speaking of, after a few days they became our biggest supporters as well as good friends. They are good men and had a lot on their minds when we first got there, Im certain it wasn't intended to be a personal attack.
Michael Andrew (02.20.10, 12:40 PM): Rick- I agree completely- They just assumed we were disaster tourists without really giving us a chance. Even after you and Brian left, the first few days they made it clear they still wanted Mathieu and I to leave. Bob was a very important contact for everyone involved. There has to be a better way of plugging capable volunteers in.
Rick Davis (02.20.10, 12:27 PM): Michael I need to make a clarification. I was asked to come to Haiti by the SA disaster services director Bob Poff. I acquired the requisite equipment and made my way. You know the story of most of the trip. While I agree totally with your posting on disaster tourists (they are a huge problem) I disagree just as strongly with the SA manager's assessment that our group were tourists. Mathieu, Brian, you and I were categorized by those people who had taken over from Bob as soon as I walked in the door. They were against our being there before a word was spoken. Incredibly frustrating for me personally. Yes they allowed you and Mathieu to stay and it worked out for all of those thousands who you managed to put into the system. SA's behavior however, not as an organization but the two individuals, was despicable. One last point: ad-hoc volunteers (Michael, Mathieu, Brian in our case) are capable of making huge contributions if they have capabilities that can be folded into the various systems of delivery of aid. There is a significant difference in the ad-hoc volunteer and the disaster tourist.
Boz (02.19.10, 9:34 PM): And hence my comments in your first iReport - "I would be a liability"...but your definitely were not! The skeptisim by the Salvation Army seems so understandable now.
Shannon Morgan (02.19.10, 3:29 PM): This is just crazy and honestly sad. I do think you should add to the list...."They wear fanny packs, dockers and button up collared shirts"....:)!