Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Haiti, one year later...

January 12 is a special date for the family, a nice celebration. But for millions of Haitians, this is now the anniversary of a tragedy. After checking on the conditions of Representative Gabrielle Giffords this weekend, I navigated to a web app on the New York Times web site, powered by GeoEye and Google and showing The Destruction in Haiti, then and now. First, I was amazed by the level of details of the aerial views which let us see that there are precarious all over the capital and the island now. Being an outdoor enthusiast, I panned and zoomed to look for green patches among the ruins. The ones existing before the seism have almost all disappeared. This is illustrated for instance by the following snapshots.

Before (8/25/2009):

A few days after the earthquake (1/16/2010):

And now (11/8/2010):

Using Google Maps, I was able to locate this particular block on the map:
The block contains the Saint Louis de Gonzague High School and a public sport center and field (Centre Sportif Enfrasa). Both stadiums are now covered with temporary houses and classrooms. Of course, it is easy and convenient to think that sport and exercise are not vital to the locals, but that make me appreciate even more the chance we have in our city, county and country with top class running tracks and parks with miles of trails. On top of the destruction of these facilities in Haiti, there are also classrooms which got severely damaged, jeopardizing the education of tens of thousands of students in this country.
A few more clicks and I was on the high school alumni foundation page to make a donation to a community I had never heard before. The power of the web or a sort of Web 2.0 solidarity. If you too consider exercise and education vital for all children, please consider visiting this page too! Tomorrow, after enjoying the track of Mountain View High School (pictured below) with Bob for about a year during the makeover, I will go back to the track at Homestead High School which is brand new and pristine and I will be thinking of those who don't have this luxury... and are not camping on the field... Hope you will join me, by your thoughts and action! 5:45 AM, rain or shine!

2 comments:

Toshi Moshi said...

Hope you had a good track-hopping! I was checking the google map of the high school track near my area after I read your post and found solar panels installed on the roof of Gunderson High and in the parking lot. I didn't notice it, but it was completed in 2008 as a part of energy efficient program and reduces utility power by 25%.

Sean Lang said...

I always enjoy reading about your different service projects that you are involved with, or are interested in! It definitely helps me appreciate all the opportunities we have to exercise and lead active lives.

Glad to hear your training is going well!

- Sean