Thursday, January 21, 2010
Where are my page views? And what’s up with those staff badges?

Hey iReporters, just a quick note to address a couple issues on the site.

 

It appears that our page view reader is acting up this morning. Our developers are addressing this and working on a fix.

 

New: Update from iReport developer Kyle Rogers: View count problem has been fixed. Thanks Kyle!

 

Also, you may have noticed that several of your fellow iReporters now have iReport staff badges next to their profiles. We've temporarily enlisted their help, along with an army of volunteers inside and out of CNN, to help us with our massive Haiti missing persons list. Much more on their incredible efforts soon.

 

Thank you.

17 Comments
January 21, 2010
Click to view Bellydancer's profile

Good to know! And I thin it's fantastic that these ireporters are helping. Good job, guys..and Good Luck!

January 21, 2010
Click to view patrick5's profile

I got kicked off the blog for reporting the news.  Now I add the following, which is an eyewitness report from Haiti. 

SOIL NEWS

Updates from Port au Prince

Port au Prince, Haiti, January 17, 2010-

Songs of Grief and Solidarity

 

Dear Patrick,

 

Apologies if these notes seem unpolished...that is because they are...we barely have time to write and internet is patchy so I will do what I can to get out information but I don't promise eloquence.

 

Love to you all and know that we are safe and taking precautions. Thank you to everyone who has sent words of love, encouragement and support.

Last night we (myself, Cat Laine, Paul Namphy, Wisnel Jolissaint, Lisius Orel and Baudeler Magloire) arrived in Port au Prince just before sunset. As we came into the city with our truck piled full of water, gas, shovels and food we got a flat tire. The news reports of looting have been so exaggerated that we were concerned that a mob of people might come take everything before we even made it into the city. I am pleased to report that, as per usual, reports of violence in Haiti are largely disinformation. Yes, we did hear shooting late last night, and yes we did see a fight over a mattress at a camp in the city but our overall impression has been sheer amazement at the solidarity displayed by communities.

 

We drove into the city past the airport and along Delmas 33. Initially it looked like about 1 in 5 houses had sustained damage and perhaps 1 in 20 had completely collapsed. However as we got father in towards Delmas the damage looked much more severe with perhaps 1 in 5 buildings completely collapsed. I have never seen anything like this, honestly it is hard to even feel. People have not even begun to mourn as everyone is still in a state of crisis. As we drove by the police station on Delmas 33 we saw someone carrying a severed foot of a police officer out of the wreckage...I barely even blinked...everything is so surreal.

 

We went straight to Matthew 25, a guesthouse which remained relatively untouched by the quake. We went to locate our friend Amber who has been helping to coordinate volunteer efforts. We are so grateful for the way in which we have been received by the guesthouse, they immediately allowed us to remove all of the materials from the car and invited us to sleep in the backyard (no one is sleeping inside as the aftershocks have continued over the past few days). I was so amazed to run our dear friend Ellie Happel at the guesthouse. She flew in from NY the day after the quake to help with relief.

 

Once we had unloaded the car we all went with Marcorel to see his family in Jake. When we arrived it was already dark and there were people sleeping everywhere in the streets. As we waited for Marcorel to make his way through the camp to locate his family we saw several young men from the neighborhood setting up a large light rigged to some batteries. As light flooded the crowd of people they burst into song. Songs of solidarity, songs of grief, songs of thanks that they had survived. We followed Mako through the blankets and makeshift tents to where his family (8 brothers and sisters and his mom and dad) huddled together on a pile of blankets. They were so happy to see him and we all piled into their bed and Ellie, Paul, Cat and I were each handed a baby. The singing continued in the background as Marcorel's family told the story of where they each were when the quake hit.

 

After leaving the camp we visited the site where Caribbean Market once stood. As I stared in disbelief at the pile of concrete and twisted shopping carts I remembered my many trips to this market over the years. I remember that Caribbean market was the first place that I visited on my own in Port au Prince, cautiously walking through the streets in 2004 by myself, not speaking any Kreyol, knowing only the market. To see it in ruins was unimaginable. American FEMA firefighters were still picking through the rubble. They said that they were still hearing voices inside and that they had been working for 30 hours without a break.

 

Around 8:30 we headed back to the guesthouse where we were incredibly blessed to have access to power and fruit. I could barely blink my eyes, the lids so heavy with exhaustion and shock. After several coordination meetings we finally tumbled into sleep, all of us gathered in the backyard, under the stars, sleeping to the sound of the songs of grief.

 

Please keep sending your love and prayers. Also you can help us by getting your friends to sign up for the SOIL group on Facebook and follow our posts. Also any fundraising help is deeply appreciated and will go 100% towards disaster relief. You can donate online at www.oursoil.org.

 

With love from Port au Prince,

Sasha

Port au Prince, Haiti, January 17, 2010-

Kouraj Cherie

 

This afternoon, feeling helpless, we decided to take a van down to Champs Mars (the area around the palace) to look for people needing medical care to bring to Matthew 25, the guesthouse where we are staying which has been transformed into a field hospital.  Since we arrived in Port au Prince everyone has told us that you cannot go into the area around the palace because of violence and insecurity.  I was in awe as we walked into downtown, among the flattened buildings , in the shadow of the fallen palace, amongst the swarms of displaced people there was calm and solidarity.  We wound our way through the camp asking for injured people who needed to get to the hospital.  Despite everyone telling us that as soon as we did this we would be mobbed by people, I was amazed as we approached each tent people gently pointed us towards their neighbors, guiding us to those who were suffering the most.  We picked up 5 badly injured people and drove towards an area where Ellie and Berto had passed a woman earlier.  When they saw her she was lying on the side of the road with a broken leg screaming for help, as they were on foot they could not help her at the time so we went back to try to find her.  Incredibly we found her relatively quickly at the top of a hill of shattered houses.  The sun was setting and the community helped to carry her down the hill on a refrigerator door, tough looking guys smiled in our direction calling out "bonswa Cherie" and "kouraj".

When we got back to Matthew 25 it was dark and we carried the patients back into the soccer field/tent village/hospital where the team of doctors had been working tirelessly all day.  Although they had officially closed down for the evening, they agreed to see the patients we had brought.  Once our patients were settled in we came back into the house to find the doctors amputating a foot on the dining room table.  The patient lay calmly, awake but far away under the fog of ketamine.  Half way through the surgery we heard a clamor outside and ran out to see what it was.  A large yellow truck was parked in front of the gate and rapidly unloading hundreds of bags of food over our fence, the hungry crowd had already begun to gather and in the dark it was hard to decide how to best distribute the food.  Knowing that we could not sleep in the house with all of this food and so many starving people in the neighborhood, our friend Amber (who is experienced in food distribution) snapped into action and began to get everyone in the crowd into a line that stretched down the road.  We braced ourselves for the fighting that we had heard would come but in a miraculous display of restraint and compassion people lined up to get the food and one by one the bags were handed out without a single serious incident.

 

During the food distribution the doctors called to see if anyone could help to bury the amputated leg in the backyard.  As I have no experience with food distribution I offered to help with the leg.  I went into the back with Ellie and Berto and we dug a hole and placed the leg in it, covering it with soil and cement rubble.  By the time we got back into the house the food had all been distributed and the patient Anderson was waking up.  The doctors asked for a translator so I went and sat by his stretcher explaining to him that the surgery had gone well and he was going to live.  His family had gone home so he was alone so Ellie and I took turns sitting with him as he came out from under the drugs.  I sat and talked to Anderson for hours as he drifted in and out of consciousness.  At one point one of the Haitian men working at the hospital came in and leaned over Anderson and said to him in kreyol "listen man even if your family could not be here tonight we want you to know that everyone here loves you, we are all your brothers and sisters". Cat and I have barely shed a tear through all of this, the sky could fall and we would not bat an eye, but when I told her this story this morning the tears just began rolling down her face, as they are mine as I am writing this.  Sometimes it is the kindness and not the horror that can break the numbness that we are all lost in right now.

 

So, don't believe Anderson Cooper when he says that Haiti is a hotbed for violence and riots, it is just not the case.  In the darkest of times, Haiti has proven to be a country of brave, resilient and kind people and it is that behavior that is far more prevalent than the isolated incidents of violence.  Please pass this on to as many people as you can so that they can see the light of Haiti, cutting through the darkness, the light that will heal this nation.

 

We are safe.  We love you all and I will write again when I can.  Thank you for your generosity and compassion.

 

With love from Port au Prince,

 

Sasha

 

I could not stop from crying when reading this report.  If you did not cry, I think you are a good candidate for an insane assylum or politics in America.

I'll let you draw your own conclusions.  Please send donations to SOIL and help them continue their work.  www.oursoil.org 

January 21, 2010
Click to view larena's profile

thank you so much for caring about Haiti good luck and kisses from me

January 21, 2010
Click to view larena's profile

I am so worried for the people in Haiti I wish I could help more thanks

January 21, 2010

I used to have a badge next to my name but it keeps disappearing???

January 24, 2010
Click to view USMedicalAid's profile

I want to know why American Medical Aid workers from Delaware where just thrown out of OR's and mash hospital facilities they set up by the French "Doctor without Boarders" Group!!

January 25, 2010

Wow great job..Keep up the good work!

February 5, 2010
Click to view Saramedows's profile
I agreed with blog writer that iReport staff badges next to their profiles, it was i noticed many time. thanks from SEO Pakistan
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