Thursday, January 21, 2010


This story has been disturbing me on many many levels the last couple of days. I've only caught the tail end of a couple of interviews with this group of parents and I still don't know what to think.

I can't even begin to imagine what these parents are going through. The not knowing must be unbearable. They sent their children to Haiti to do the right thing ... visit orphanages and distribute food and may never know what became of them.

Let's go back a couple of years to Katrina. New Orleans is completely shut down ... no power, total chaos. I will never forget one of the cable news shows interviewing an elderly woman who had been in the Superdome or perhaps some kind of make-shift shelter for a couple of days. She was complaining because she "had been here a couple of days already and no one has offered her a hot meal." Hot meal? Lady, the city is under several feet of water. Where did you expect to get a hot meal from??? This story about this group of parents kind of reminds me of the woman in New Orleans.

I am not an Obama fan nor will I ever be. However, I will be the first to admit that this administration acted swiftly when the earthquake first hit Haiti. One of the things that is bugging me about this group of parents is that they are demanding the US send troops (as many of 500-1,000) to this particular hotel to look for these American students. One distraught mother on the Today show said, "we should be sending bulldozers and heavy machinery to this hotel." Another parent said she is angry that she's not getting information from the government; U.S. officials say they're doing what they can under difficult conditions considering most Americans in Haiti did not register at the US Embassy. There is really no way of knowing exactly how many Americans were in Haiti at the time the quake hit. Another parent made some comments about "This is the United States of America. They perform miracles all across the world ... Where's our miracle?" Unfortunately, this event did not occur on American soil. When you travel out of the country, particularly to a third world country, there are certain risks you have to assume. Haiti's infra-structure, on a good day, was shaky at best.

One of the more outspoken parents, "Len" if think, said these kids went down there on a "journey of hope, that's what it was called, and it's turned into a journey of hell." Again, I will never pretend to understand what these poor parents are going through but I think their anger at the US government is displaced.

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