As Chris and Scott were walking through village 5 with Jean and Michael, we heard music playing on a radio--the first radio we had heard in the EcoVillages. Electric power is not available and batteries are expensive, so few villagers have radios. This radio was connected to a solar panel for power. On this trip Chris had brought six hybrid radios powered by hand cranks and built-in solar panels to give to MPP, one for each of six the EcoVillages.
We followed the music to a house where a mom and dad were sitting on their front porch with a young girl, Tanisha. Tanisha was sitting in an improvised wheel chair constructed using a bicycle handle and pedals. Her mom explained her daughter Tanisha could not walk because she was severely injured in the January 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince. She was buried in the rubble for 3 days before being rescued. In addition to not being able to walk, Tanisha also appears to be unable to speak. We believe the music playing on the radio was to entertain Tanisha.
Tanisha's presence and courage are a constant reminder that every Villager 7 years old and older survived that terrible earthquake. Each person has scars of the trauma, visible or invisible. Each person lost a family member or loved one on that day.
In helping these former city dwellers find ways to recover from the disaster, we are also engaged in humanitarian assistance and in development. With tenacity and courage, we travel together towards hope and brighter futures.
by Scott Grosse and Carolyn French