Working on a communications project for the national government, traveling through East Sepik and
The country with the weakest infrastructure and least government services was texting and tweeting its own network of alternative emergency services. Crackling away through that awful cloud of dust that blanketed the city just after the first quake, the Haitians slowly recreated their own non-governmental resourcefulness and reached out beyond their island to sympathetic ears. After watching this on CNN, and seeing a Port au Prince Digicel storefront covered in ash--- all the reservations our team had had, accumulated from visits to Drekikir in East Sepik and Karamui in Simbu, over the misunderstandings of mobile telephony---the missed calls, wasted monies, ‘gas fire’ fake phonecalls, and domestic strife over mobile phones that newly-connected remote communities are likely to face---all of these doubts were dashed. If you can shed all the time wasted, money spent and aggravation suffered for lack of communication in bringing goods to market, patients to doctors, students to school, and families together, then the pro’s pretty much outweigh the cons anyway. But when you see a child calling into a mobile phone under a pile of rubble in Part au Prince, and images of mothers and aunties lost and now found over facebook, then the argument is not worth having.
I can only think back to the Aitape tsunami, when we first heard from a nun over the radio as she witnessed the wave crash, and the highlands la nina drought that only got worse when people started burning off their gardens to hunt small rodents when the relief aid never arrived. One phone call here, one text message there, would surely have saved lives.
Finally, I want to thank Pat Robertson for clearing up some of the great mysteries of
Televangelist Pat Robertson said Wednesday that earthquake-ravaged
"Something happened a long time ago in
Robertson said that "ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other" and he contrasted
Later that evening, Raymond Joseph, Haitian Ambassador to the
THE BOROWITZ REPORT - Just hours after saying that God was punishing
Rev. Robertson said that he had heard the report of the earthquake on the radio and had misinterpreted its location: "For the life of me, I thought God was punishing Hades, which does in fact have a pact with the Devil."
Apologizing for his "goof," the televangelist told his TV audience, "Golly - people must've thought I was being an insensitive asshole."