Monday, August 9, 2010

NY Times-Haitian Look To Families In The States For A Helping Hand

Alourds Grandoit:Ozier Muhammad/NY Times
(Story reported by Anne Barnard for the NY Times)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — As Alourds Grandoit hitches her chair across the yard, following the spots of shade, her thoughts linger mostly on the dead: 10 relatives lost in the Jan. 12 earthquake. But sometimes they turn to a plastic barrel that is wending its way toward her, from her cousin’s two-family house in Queens to a ship moving down the Atlantic coast to — someday soon — a truck rumbling up the road to her brother’s cinderblock bungalow, where she moved when the cataclysm wrecked her home.

Inside the barrel are dresses from Marshalls, soap from the Far Rockaway flea market, evaporated milk from the grocery store. Since the earthquake, her cousin, Gislaine Vieux, who left Haiti 41 years ago, has made weekly expeditions to her favorite shops looking for bargains. She piles them carefully in a barrel until it is full. She has sent two so far.

These simple offerings cannot salve the pain that Ms. Grandoit, 70, feels for the family crushed in the ruins of her cozy, humming house — among them her husband, three of her five children and a grandson.

(click here to read the full story on the NY Times website)

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