Friday, November 19, 2010

Cholera in Jeremie...

Great... cholera officially arrived in Jeremie, Haiti today. I read CNN an hour or so ago and they weren't even reporting it yet, but it is here. Five cases so far. And we do have city power tonight. So I'm wondering if the road has been reopened to container trucks? Not sure. Regardless, I'll be washing my hands constantly now whenever I have soap and water available.

Speaking of soap and water -- and not necessarily running water -- I was just considering the fact that the "running" water I use is all gravity-based. And if I run out of electricity... at some point it'll be impossible to flip a switch and pump water to the roof. That means the water will need to be hauled from the rainwater-collecting-cistern to the 400 gallon drum on the roof. Ugh.

It's kinda funny to me because when I contemplated accepting this position, I recalled plenty of bucket-of-water, over-the-shoulder showers I had taken in the past. But that was typically while backpacking in some remote part of the world that can't afford running water. Being here, it's a little different as I go to work everyday. Regardless, I'll be fine. Running water is a luxury here. So as nice as it is, I remind myself that many here do without it. And I'll be just fine.

As for the riots, CNN reported an attack on a bus filled with foreign missionaries. But that happened in the same place the riots started: Cap Haitien. And the riots haven't spread to Jeremie. So I'm not too concerned about that. And with the elections less than a week away, I'm hoping the overt -- and currently suppressed -- volatility here subsides soon. I've been in some highly volatile areas and situations in the past. Whether it's traveling through Khmer Rouge territory and being stopped by a Cambodian whose face was covered with the memory-emblazoned red bandana or having my taxi driver drag me away from the Golan Heights as the Israeli soldiers started brandishing their rifles and the Lebanese responded by throwing softball-sized rocks over the 15-ft high chainlink fence... I've had more than one adrenaline rush before. But sitting here in Jeremie, I'm quite happy to enjoy the stars and moon with a warm Caribbean breeze wafting over me. I don't need any riots this weekend. I have chemistry homework to do!

Tim White

No comments: