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My name is Keith Michaud and this is “Letters From Away,” a blog written by a Mainer living outside the comfortable and sane confines of New England. The blog is intended for Mainers, whether they live in the Pine Tree State or beyond, and for anyone who has loved ’em, been baffled by ’em or both. Ayuh, I am “from away.” Worse still, I live on the Left Coast – in California. Enjoy! Or not. Your choice.
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Tag Archives: humanitarian
Dr. Michael Regan met the girl — 14 years old, bright-eyed and sweet — in a hospital tent filled with flies and patients. Her lower leg had been crushed during Haiti’s January earthquake. She’d received treatment afterward, but in the nonsterile medical facility an infection had set in. Regan changed the pins in her leg, cleaned out the infection, gave her antibiotics. In the United States she could have had surgery in a state-of-the-art facility and would have been fine.
Not in Haiti. Regan predicted her leg will have to be amputated within a year. And there’s nothing the Auburn orthopedic surgeon could do for her — or for so many others in the very same tent.
“Oh, God, I can remember them all. There were so many of them. I’m a softy for kids, though,” he said. “I would have taken that kid in a heartbeat. If I could have found a way to get her here, she would be here.”
Regan returned from a stint in Haiti in March, one of three doctors with Central Maine Orthopaedics in Auburn to go. The doctors — Regan, Jeffrey Bush and David Brown — each spent a week in the impoverished country, taking turns away from their orthopedic practice this spring so while one was in Haiti two others could cover patients in Auburn.
Click on the link for the rest of today’s story by Lindsay Tice in the Lewiston Sun Journal.
Maine Friends of Haiti, a group working to get aid to Haiti, is holding a raffle of sorts to spur more giving to the island nation.
Mary Doyle of the group asked that I post a link to the YouTube video that tells of the Maine people and groups that have traveled to help the earthquake-ravaged nation or have given in other ways, from coin drives, school plays, benefit concerts to art sales, solar panels and used sails donated for shelters.
The video also tells of the Maine-Haiti Statewide $1,000 Map Challenge Raffle. If I understand the raffle correctly, the name of each of Maine’s towns and cities is listed on a map and for the name of the community to be highlighted, just one person has to indicate that they have done something , anything for Haiti relief. That person then gets a ticket for the raffle. The ticket’s are not for sale; you get them by doing something for Haiti.
“You have to do something for Haiti to earn it,” according to the Maine Friends of Haiti website. “It’s a raffle that recognizes the caring nature of Mainers. It’s a raffle that challenges every town and city in Maine to get involved.”
Also – and I’ve e-mailed Ms. Doyle about this and I’ll update the information if I am completely off the mark – the winner of the raffle gets to pick which agency helping Haiti gets the $1,000. The winner doesn’t get a prize, per se, simply the pleasure of picking a nonprofit to get the $1,000.
Anyway, below is the link to the video and Maine Friends of Haiti website address.
LEWISTON — For two days after he returned from Haiti, Peter Geiger had trouble talking about his experience.
It was too emotional. Too intense. Simply too difficult to put into words.
“It was overwhelming,” he said.
Geiger had spent days as part of a rubble brigade, passing one bucket of debris after another down a line of volunteers working in 100-degree heat to clear a collapsed building that once housed a church and school. He had walked through the streets of a neighborhood built on trash, its water tainted brown. He had handed out soccer balls to children whose last play area was a sewer.
“Until you’re physically down there and you see it, smell it, hear it, it’s hard to describe,” Geiger said. “I knew it would be an emotional experience, but I didn’t realize, particularly until I came back, how emotionally I was affected by it. I’ve always been passionate about helping people, but this is a whole other level of need.”
Click on the link for the rest of today’s story by Lindsay Tice in the Lewiston Sun Journal. The story is accompanied by photos and video.
LES CAYES, Haiti – Not once in the four weeks and five days since he left Portland Harbor had Dave St. Cyr, a deckhand aboard the Maine relief ship Sea Hunter, uttered such an exclamation.
A United Nations Police patrol boat arrives at Sea Hunter’s anchorage Friday morning to provide security during the offloading operations off the coast of Les Cayes, Haiti.
“What chaos!” said St. Cyr, 54, of Portland as he came to the ship’s bridge for a breather late Friday afternoon. “It’s unbelievable down there!”
And long overdue.
Sea Hunter’s mission of mercy to earthquake-ravaged Haiti, delayed by raging winter storms and enough red tape to stop the 220-foot treasure-hunting ship dead in the water for days on end, is at last coming to an end.
Just after noon Friday, a Haitian customs official gave the long-awaited permission to begin offloading Sea Hunter’s estimated 200 tons of relief supplies.
Minutes later, the water around the ship exploded into a scrum of landing vessels and a cacophony of bullhorns, security sirens and, above all, shouting Haitian workers.
“This is it,” said Sea Hunter’s owner, Greg Brooks. “This is what we started out in Portland for. And it’s finally come to fruition today.”
Click on the link to read the rest of this story by Bill Nemitz of the Portland Press Herald.