I’m getting set for a trip to Haiti. Like most things that turn into huge projects it started simply enough. Chronicle reporter Cindy Leise did a story on Church on the Northcoast and their efforts to go to Haiti to offer help to the victims of the 7.0 earthquake. It’s a natural thing for a photographer to say “hey, I want to go too.”
I started making calls and getting the information together on the cost to travel as well as the equipment I would need to get images back from the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Our managing editor liked the idea of following a local group of people who are simply throwing themselves headlong into the chaos that is Haiti. We met with our big boss Andy Young and after making promises that I wouldn’t get killed and that we have a valid reason for going the deal was done.
I made arrangements for some pretty cool gear, a satellite phone that will work anywhere in the world and a marsat unit that transmits my images and stories to a satellite. I also had to contact the Elyria City Health Department for a series of shots and medications. Whooping cough, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, as well as meds for Malaria. They also included some pretty serious information about Dengue fever. Apparently this little thing is transferred by mosquitoes and can cause hemorrhagic bleeding… uhh yea, that’s not good.
I’ve been asked the same question more than once, why am I going?
The answer is pretty simple. I am a journalist. It’s who I am and what I do, having an opportunity to do my part to report on an international news event is too much to pass up. Having the chance to follow Lorain County people into the hell that is Haiti makes it even better. I will record, report, and photograph their activities as they arrive in Haiti with nothing but money to start their mission. Traveling with medical personnel the group will likely begin treating people within hours of boots on the ground. Their hope as well as mine is to hookup with a group for logistical support when we arrive in Port au Prince.
I’ll be doing my best to update the blog during the trip and will be providing daily stories and photos on Chroniclet.com