Thursday, 21 January 2010

Heating and Haiti

We have been living without heating for eight long days. This happened after a series of errors on the part of our boiler insurance company. On day five my husband telephoned the CEO of the company. We didn’t actually get to talk to him, but we left a very severe message with his PA. My father always told me that if you have a problem, go straight to the top and yes he’s right. Afer the call, things started to move. But we still had eight days huddled together in the sitting room, where we ate, played, argued and cooked. My husband even slept on the sofa, as my daughter had to bed down with me because her room has an outside wall and was literally freezing. The cold began to get to me: my husband and I argued, the children went stir crazy in the one room. The sitting room was relatively cosy, if we kept the the heater and the oven on, (our kitchen and sitting room merge into one) but the corridors and bathroom were freezing, like being suddenly thrust into Antartica. But at least we had a roof over our head.

After I read the following account of what it is like to be Haiti, right now, I was ashamed to complain about my heating. This message was posted on facebook by a friend of a friend: “My 
four sisters, brother, and father are down there; (Haiti) they have lost their 
home and are now sleeping and wondering on the streets with a bunch of 
dead bodies, rapists, and many more. My sister had a 3 storey building fall on her, and was trapped for 18 hours. She 
now has a really bad infection in one of her legs. She told me that she is at the airport asking the air-force people to 
help her, but they told her that they are helping Americans first, so 
they refuse to help her. Having an infection is really bad, it could 
even kill her. I hope she finds 
some antibiotics or sees a doctor right away. It
’s really hard to see all that happening and not being able to do
 anything.”

My children’s primary school are holding two fundraising events today and tomorrow, for Haiti. I wish I could do more.