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tis, and their son Donald, Jr., – and was duly impressed by the compound itself. According to Hardin, the camp was “clean and tidy,” and housed a small school, a medical clinic, a large kitchen/dining fa- cility, and a non-denominational church complete with musical instruments and a full-time Padre. The camp is also home to a large flock of wild turkeys, a dozen chickens, and a mini-herd of baby pigs who, as Hardin stated, “comprise the out- door clean-up crew.” Hardin was also impressed by the ded- ication of the local villagers. Upon his de- scent Hardin noticed a perfectly level and rectangular soccer field, and surmised that only a bulldozer could carve such a smooth and evenly cut field out of the mountain. Not so, he was told. “It was dug by hand, one shovel at a time, by the people of the village, in 100-degree tem- peratures in some of the most rocky and inhospitable terrain I have ever seen,” said Hardin.

From the relative comfort of the com- pound, the picture changed remarkably once Hardin and Don Curtis left the grounds to survey the damage done by the January 12 quake. Despite the nearby vil- lage being only 25 miles from the epicenter, the earthquake opened up a 200-foot, quar- ter-mile wide ditch that extended from Port- au-Prince to within several hundred feet of the compound. Don Curtis happened to be looking on at the time of the quake, and saw the fault line headed for a collision course with the village and compound. However, the fault line passed serendipitously in a perfect circle around the north side of the buildings and huts, sparing both the camp and village utter devastation.. “They re- ceived a bit of damage, but nothing as bad as it would have been if it had sustained a direct hit,” said Hardin. That bit of good luck aside, the camp’s biggest problem is now the daily influx of refugees fleeing the devastation of Port- au-Prince. The ever-increasing flood of children needing food and water grows steadily each day, and the camp supplies food to 10 feeding stations each day. Food shortages mean only children seven years old and under can be fed, and is the only meal these children will receive each day. In response, Helidosa flew in approxi- mately 1,600 pounds of rice, beans and pasta, which drew tears from Pat Curtis. “She explained that without that help, they • March 2010


only had enough food for a couple more days,” she said. “You would have thought it was Christmas morning, as everyone wanted to line up and be a part of unload- ing the food that would allow them to stay in operation just a little while longer.” Hardin said his time spent in Haiti has offered him perspective, particularly his up-close view of a country in utter ruins.

“This is a mass-casualty disaster of epic proportions, and the recovery and relief efforts are going to take a long, long time,” he said. Hardin then noted the di- chotomy between the suffering in Haiti and the relative prosperity in the upper 48 states. “It’s hard to imagine that this situ- ation exists only a three-hour flight from Florida.” ❚ Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52
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