This is my beautiful friend Christina. The photo was taken approximately a year ago today during a wonderful weekend spent together at the "most magical place on earth" ... Disney World. In January of 2009 laughter was the order of the day. Laughter is not easy to come by in January of 2010 ... for you see, Christina is a native of Haiti. Port-Au-Prince, Haiti to be precise.
It has been four days since a 7.0-magnitude earthquake leveled her city in the most powerful natural disaster to hit the impoverished Caribbean nation in more than 200 years.
Thankfully, Christina and her immediate family were not harmed. Physically. Emotionally the toll is beyond measure. She awaits news of friends that have not been accounted for while wondering how to pick up the pieces of her life.
In Christina's words: "...from now on life will never be the same again, our city is destroyed, our schools are destroyed, our works are destroyed, as well as hospitals, hotels and all major government buildings. All to top UN staff is dead as many of our government officials. We are a sinking boat with no captain ! And it's very hard to see how we are going to start normal lives again."
Tonight Tom and I sat pouring over catalogs in an attempt to pick out fixtures for the bathroom we are remodeling. And then the irony dawned on me. Here we sit in the comfort of our cozy little home discussing the merits of various valves used to control the flow of water we will use to shampoo our hair while hundreds of thousands of people in Christina's land are desperate for even a single drop of water to quench their thirst. To simply keep them alive for another day.
Unemployment and a continuing economic downturn has hit many of us where we live. We are all counting our pennies these days. In Haiti 80% of the population survives on $2.00 a day. Kind of puts "hard times" into perspective doesn't it?
You can text "HAITI" to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross relief efforts in #haiti." A few seconds of your time and a charge added to your next cell phone bill. $10 may seem like a drop in the bucket in the wake of such a massive need ... but the last time I checked the Red Cross site over 700,000 people had sent that text message. Please, won't you consider becoming one of them?