An OBcean in Haiti

by on February 15, 2010 · 5 comments

in Culture, Economy, Ocean Beach, World News


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by Jordan Barnes

I could not have anticipated what I was to see, or the affect that our experience in Haiti would have on me.

My fiance Christene and I left from Ocean Beach to join ten others and 1,200 lbs of medicine and supplies that had been donated. This is only a fraction of the donations that “Children’s Hope” has received since the catastrophic quake, but such was our weight allotment, the rest will go down in subsequent trips.

My mother Leisa Faulkner began Children’s Hope, a non-profit/non-religious organization, in 2004 to help the desperate situation of the children of the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. Along with humanitarian aid, my mother has become very involved in the political situation there.

Our last trip down there was her 12th. We spent most all our time in Port au Prince, where through her previous trips, my mother had established ties with community leaders.

Governing now only exists at the local level, “mayors” of what are now tent cities have the best idea of what the people in their area need most.

We worked to distribute the huge quantities of medicine, stocking “pharmacies” (usually located in one of the few buildings still sound in the area) with what they needed, and then off through the debris filled streets. When we felt as if we most usefully proportioned out the medicines, we took to helping in the hospitals.

Now in what used to be orphanages, schools, and soccer fields, under tarpaulin roofs, the battle is on against the second wave of this disaster. Malaria, typhoid, cholera, and hepatitis A are breaking out as sanitation is almost impossible and the density of people guarantees quick transmition. We gave vaccinations, changed bandages of amputees and helped teach them to use crutches or wheelchairs, and helped the sick in outlaying regions get the treatment they needed.

The dozen or so soccer balls we brought were worth their weight in gold, or rather smiles. Watching the children play soccer together; smiling, hugging, and laughing they seemed to forget if only for a moment the pain and just be kids.

Now what little infrastructure and “stability” the people of Haiti had is all but gone. The devastation is total; government buildings, schools, hospitals, and homes flattened. They press on through resiliency of spirit and unity. A unity and oneness that Fox news and CNN would not have you believe, and the mounted 50 caliber weapons on UN tanks do not promote.

We never saw rioting or looting, but only people pulling together, sharing, lifting each other up. Because they have to, because it is what they have always done. As a man sitting atop a pile of rubble that used to be his neighborhood his, his family still buried somewhere below his feet proclaimed, “I realize that I am here to help those less fortunate than myself.” The only people that I can think of that are less fortunate than that man are those in that country that have lost not only family and friends, but arms and legs.

It is a horrible thing to say, but we met countless Haitians, mostly very young, who fell to such a fate. A people that have endured disaster after disaster, oppression, slavery, coup upon coup are now faced with surviving the worst natural disaster on record.

The people of Haiti are the most beautiful I have ever met, their smiles beaming from under the rubble, and hand in hand they stand up and dance. I will most likely be returning to Haiti soon, accompanied once again by my loving mother, to sit on an enormous donation (from a resident of Ocean Beach-THANK YOU!) of 15,000 bottles of antimicrobial cleanser/sanitizer and ensure its passage and proper distribution.

Please continue to support, you cannot give enough. The need is truly great, and the people could not be more thankful.

If you would like to donate through Children’s Hope:

Leisa Faulkner-Founder

Children’s Hope

3025 Cambridge Road #A

Cameron Park, CA 95682 USA


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary February 16, 2010 at 11:40 am

Wow! I actually saw Christine and Blue (one of the top 10 dogs in OB) at Dog Beach the other day, and she was telling me about this. It sounded like a really difficult experience. Thank you guys for being so great.


Harley Holmes February 16, 2010 at 2:22 pm

These are the kinds of stories that should be disseminated in the news media. Aside from what little you can really learn of the situation in Haiti by reading an article in The New York TImes or watching a segment on CNN, true journalism can be found by talking to the people who have actually been there, who handed out supplies, who immersed themselves in this horrific event, and who had the wherewithal to see this story not only as one of disaster, but in human qualities of terror and triumph. Knowing both the author of this article and his fiance, I can say with certainty that this story, as I am sure millions of others are, is an unbiased, humanistic account of what is really happening in Haiti. So hopefully anyone who just read this article will see there are still real people in the world, those who care for their fellow man and know it is important to tell the world their story.


Carly February 17, 2010 at 8:09 am

This is truely moving Jordan. I am so proud of you and Christene for all you have accomplished! I look up to you both with great respect. I love you!! xoxo Cars


Debi Timmons February 17, 2010 at 9:49 am

That is a very moving story Jordan, we are so proud of you and Christene. We knew this would be a life changing trip for you guys. You wrote very well. I guess that could be another job for you!


Sandy Timmons February 17, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Dear Jordon and Christene, Thankyou for your kind hearts and reaching out to these people in great need. Thankyou for sharing this experience with us. We are very proud of all of you and thankful for your love, support and hope you have extended to the Haitians. Love John and Sandy


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