Haiti today: Notes from David Ono Pt. 3, Seething anger


I met a man today who is angry and for good reason. He lives in the enormous tent city that lies directly across the street from the presidential palace. In fact, the collapsed palace is the view out the front of his makeshift tent. The pile of rubble is the perfect metaphor for the Haitian government.

The man spotted our cameras and was hoping for an opportunity to sound off. I gladly let him. The thin 33-year-old had an intensity about him, as if he was going to alert the world about their misery, even if he had to do it one person at a time.

He immediately pulls out photos in his back pocket. In the first, he's smiling, wearing a suit and tie, holding a newborn baby. HIS baby. The next photo- three children smiling. Then one of his wife. All these pictures were taken in what looks like a nice comfortable house.

I think we all know where this is leading - somewhere between 230,000 and 300,000 people died in the earthquake - including his entire family.

"They are all dead," he says to me. "The earthquake took them away," along with his home and his job.

He's been living in his tiny dilapidated tent since January. "I have nothing left," he says. "it's terrible."

As he takes me on a tour of his new "city," I travel through a horrid maze of disgusting makeshift tents and tarps. You can see it first-hand when you watch my story.

What you can't get in the video is the stench and the heat and the unbearable sense of helplessness. Just existing in this environment is maddening.

To wake up in this horrible world of poverty and starvation every morning and to go to bed there every night has to wear you a little thinner each day.

What is a person's breaking point?

I ask myself, "If this was truly my life, how would I handle it?" Or more to the point, "Can I handle it?"

If you have lost your family, your job, your home, iif you are starving and thirsty, if you are miserable and sick, where do you get the fuel to keep going?

As I spend the day with this very intense and angry man I wonder if that's his secret to survival -- anger.

In a way, I hope it is. Because there's plenty of that to go around. He deserves a chance to start a new life and if anger is what it takes for him to bridge the gap between yesterday and tomorrow, then so be it.

I think we all should be angry, for his sake.

Copyright © 2021 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.