October 03

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Waiting for Matthew

Since yesterday I’ve been watching Matthew on the satellite pictures provided by the US National Hurricane Center, following his movements, feeling his upfront breath. I secured my windows, filled my gallons of water, filled my fridge of bread, milk, eggs and bananas, I agreed with my manager to work from home today. Schools are closed and not sure there would be many people at the office.

This morning I kind of woke up at 4:30 AM but NTR: Nothing To Report, and went back to sleep. I had my breakfast watching through the open window and feeling the continuous fine mist that reminded me so much of the grey days in Normandy. Palm tree across the street keeping straight. I spent the day distractingly working on the content of an e-learning about child rights we want to develop and use during our community trainings.

It is now 5.00 PM and Matthew hasn’t shown up yet in the capital. He is entering south in Haiti and these departments are in maximum alert. I receive many messages of support on facebook and whatsapp, I keep my family informed that everything is fine so far, the connection is still good. I’m fine, not worried at all about myself. I think of these slums in Port au Prince made of sticks and plastics, I think of the most vulnerable people, I think of the rural areas I saw during my field trips and I’m worried about floodings and landslides.

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Right now it feels like the calm before the storm. If I hadn’t heard about Matthew I’d never think there’s a hurricane nearby. I jut went up the roof terrace to take a few pictures. He’s about 400 km away from PAP, but apparently it’s not much for him, it’s the region’s most powerful storm in nearly a decade, and we’re now preparing for the worst… It’s my first hurricane ever so close. I feel like a teenager waiting for her first date, getting so much ready and then what? Will he be passionate or will he be shy? Would he step back and leave me alone? This time if the guy decides to fade away I won’t be angry. I’ll even be very grateful to skip that date, I’ll feel relieved for the people of Haiti. Please if you show up Matthew be gentle.

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