Letter From Haiti: Wandering the Streets

Madeleine Philbin is regional director for CRS-Midwest. She is based in Chicago. You can read previously published sections of this series here.

Farid points out another crossroads, this is where I counted the 20 bodies he says. He had already told me about taking a walk the day after the earthquake, and finding all the bodies that people apparently started piling up at the intersection for someone to pick up. When he told me that story, we were on the main drag that borders CRS offices.

Madeleine Philbin. Photo by Richard Anderson for CRS

This street, he said, was filled with thousands of people walking around “like chickens without heads,” looking for family or a home, or just lost. People walked from downtown to Petionville to the airport back downtown again, walked the whole city just wondering where to go.

He points out the man walking, carrying a rooster, and says he’s headed for a cockfight. He says that cockfighting is a very popular sport here, and in the DR, and especially in Cuba. He tells me everyone will be watching the soccer match tomorrow morning between Brazil and Portugal. If Brazil wins, there’ll be dancing the streets, if not, fighting (I think that’s a joke).

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