Friday, September 17, 2010

The Aid Community

Yesterday I got out of the work area Sun Mountain has carved out of the poolside lounge at the Hotel Villa Creole.  Workers from a gamut of organization from the Red Cross on meet, Skype, and make mobile calls around the city and the hemisphere.

The hotel itself, known as HVC by those staying there, carries wounds from the January 12 earthquake and some of the employees live in tents on the grounds.

I went out with Scott, the Sun Mountain director and Hans, one of the team members, to visit a number of organizations, starting with Worldvision, in the process meeting Haitians, Asian Americans, South Asians and Middle Easterners serving as staff.  In some cases, we had appointments and in others we stopped by hoping to catch folks.  Driving around in a vehicle marked IOM, for International Organization for Migration, we saw small SUVs (everyone seemed to be in one) with letters indicating UN (DP or OP),  USAID (US Agency for International Development), CRS (Catholic Relief Services),  CHF (Cooperative Housing Foundation) or the aforementioned Worldvision.

Part of the reason for the trips was for Scott to confirm partnerships for documents being finalized or already completed and also for me to meet some people that I may need to contact for later assignments.

Dinner was structured around discussion of a displaced persons settlement that would incorporate best practices.  The consultation took place mainly between Scott and a representative from the UN supervising the camp development.

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