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This week marks the third anniversary of the appalling earthquake in Haiti. I have written about this for the Catholic Herald and Ekklesia (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/17774), and have witnessed myself the struggle to rebuild and recover.
In 2010 an earthquake ripped through Haiti killing more than 200,000, making millions homeless. Speaking to Haitians now, they date everything from that day – “après le douze”, “avant le douze” meaning after or before the twelfth of January when the 7.0 magnitude quake shook itself out from near the capital Port au Prince.
On Sunday 11 March 2012 I travelled out to a community called Fonds Jean Noel, two hours from the Haitian capital Port au Prince up a jaw-breaking road of loose rocks and scree.
It’s taken me a few days to get my head even part of the way around Haiti: it’s a strange and wonderful place that has so many signs and so few destinations. What I mean by that is that you see here the beginnings of things and the leftovers of things, but they often don’t seem to lead far. As though the events and history of this half of the Hispaniola island have always been in a constant stop-start mode. It’s as though there are so many influences culturally, politically, religiously - not to ever forget the impacts of serial natural disasters - that few things move in a linear manner to a meaningful conclusion.
Two years ago on January 12, as the late afternoon heat ebbed away, a catastrophic magnitude 7 earthquake hit the island of Hispaniola, devastating Haiti.