Now Haiti is calling and i really have no reason to say no. Except there are stories like these about volunteers being a detriment, when you have no higher disaster or medical skills to contribute. Sure, i have some of those basic medical skills, so i am not starting from zero. But when the opportunity arose for myself and a film crew to get down there, i had to start thinking real.
When the wound is so raw and tender, will i, as a documentarian, be a help, or a hindrance? Do we need more people down there just telling the sad story to the world? And even if i live off Luna Bars for the entire time, am i only doing more to stress the infrastructure?
Such, i think, are the real questions one must ask if you really want to help out. You may have the best intentions, but what will you do when a distressed person is hungry, and wailing at you in French, and all you can offer are some mini-DV tapes, slapped together in a 10-pack? Should you just tape them and steal their veritable soul to sell to the masses? I am disturbed, jostled, yet feeling strongly that i have to see it for myself.
One thing i know is that if this thing goes off and i find myself tagging along on an aid plane in a few days time, i am gonna need the help of all of you. At present, most of you don't feed me with cash, or even encouraging comments (though i could use 'em), but in the coming days i could very well need your help in terms of wisdom, prayers, thoughts, words of warning, and of course, catchphrases in French. I will keep you posted.