UIA shaliach’s daughter reports from Haiti

February 1, 2010 by J-Wire
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Ronny Bar-Tur  was a popular UIA shaliach in Sydney…his daughter Yael was with the Israeli army hospital in Haiti. J-Wire does not usually publish blogs, but in this case……from Yael Bar Tur in Haiti

Hi Everyone,

so it’s final – we are leaving on Wednesday. We are slowly starting to pack up and transfer patients from the hospital. Much of the equipment (tents, cleaning supplies, food) is being left here for our local translators who have been doing a great job.

As for us, things just keep getting weirder and weirder. Yesterday, the Columbian doctors gave us a salsa lesson. Today, Sean Penn stopped by (still don’t know why…).

I will try to answer some of your questions from twitter:

The mood – like I said people are in teally good spirits, but we are getting tired. I think everyone is excited to go home, that being sad, it will be hard to leave. Doctors and nurses got pretty attached to some patients and saying goodbye is a difficult process.

International cooperation – it is pretty much like a mini UN here. We have Medical staff from Colombia and Canada working here with us and journalists from all over the world popping in.

Medically speaking there is a lot of cooperation with the US military, the Miami University hospital and an Italian hospital (both in Haiti), and of course a steady transferral of patients to the USNS Comfort.

What does Haiti need – it’s a bit of a bubble in here, we see many happy stories and a lot of hope. However, this is only a little bandaid on the huge wound this earthquake caused. Many of the patients we help are in need of long term treatment, and the whole country needs a long term plan to rebuild it’s infrastructure. We, the Israelis, are excellent first responders and we worked hard since we got here, but now it is time for the world to step in and make sure that these people are not forgotten once the news starts getting old.

Why did I come – I don’t know. For those of you who know me, I am a little anxious, I like to be in control and I enjoy showering 🙂 When I saw the images on TV of the Israeli delegation I felt such pride that I knew I wnated to be part of this effort. My job here was to work with the press and indeed I did entertaing reporters most of the time here, but every moment I could I spent at the childrens ward or with the babies. I still can’t comprehend the magnitude of this whole operation, but I know it is something that will be with me forever.

Read Yael’s amazing account of the IDF’s activities in Haiti here

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