Considering the amount of cautionary advice Mom and I were given before we left the States, along with the number of worried emails I have received since I've been here, I thought I'd better write this entry.
There is a cholera outbreak in Haiti. Most of you probably already know this.
We knew about this before we left the US, but were not worried about our personal safety in coming because we knew that our friends here would tell us not to come if they thought that we were in grave danger. In addition, we had the benefit of having Dr. Dad to give us advice. In the worst case (and unlikely) situation that one of us would get cholera, Dad said, it is a highly treatable disease. And we knew that we would be staying about a mile from a hospital (and next door to a physician) while in Haiti. We have the knowledge--and more importantly, the resources--to prevent this disease. We have access to clean drinking water, safe food, and good hygiene.
I do not say all this to belittle the outbreak and its danger for the Haitian population; I think the death toll is above 900 now. The outbreak is definitely not something to be taken lightly, especially now that it has reached the tent villages. But I do want to encourage you not to worry about Mom and me. We are doing our best to be safe. Obviously, we are not immune to infection, so prayers are always appreciated. And please pray for those for whom preventative measures are more difficult. But please don't worry about us. :)
The good news is that education about cholera prevention is occuring. Today there was a large-scale radio broadcast that included speeches and interviews with various people, including the president, about how to prevent cholera. And today I heard a cute story closer to home: Jean-Claude's sister took a little girl shopping with her and offered to buy her whichever kind of candy she wanted. The girl hemmed and hawed over the difficult decision before arriving at her conclusion: she opted for a bottle of hand sanitizer instead of a candy bar!!