Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Afraid in Soleil
My favorite place to work is the pediatric clinic in Soleil.
When I get up in the morning I listen to see if I can hear the UN helicopter circling above Soleil. Today I can hear the helicopter. That is never good.
MINUSTAH (United Nations) has tanks in Soleil and they are constantly looking to kill gang members and vice versa. There is a war in Soleil now. Hundreds of thousands of poor Haitians living in this slum are directly affected by this war.
So each morning I call the driver who picks me up to see if he can get out of Soleil in his vehicle. Today he said he could not come right now to get me because there is much shooting going on and he can’t safely drive out of the slum.
He is going to give it some time and call me back.
When we go through Soleil, he drives quickly, so we are a fast moving target. That is good but I hope we don’t ever hit anyone in the crowded streets.
This violence really plagues the poor people living in Soleil. When the mothers are too afraid to go on the street to take their sick children to the clinic, the children are frequently even sicker the next day when the shooting has stopped.