Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Krishna's Mercy In Haiti

Toronto, Ontario

Last year I visited Denver to attend the wedding of a happy couple, Jagannath P.D. and Vaikuntha-lila. While there, I met Pranaballabha, a Krishna devotee and godbrother, meaning we share the same guru, Srila Prabhupada, as he was alive when we were his students. Prana had then just returned from Haiti to give aid and assist in a national disaster. I wrote him recently, asking about his personal welfare and recalling the relief work he had done, so I wanted to share his response.

"Yes, it has been approximately a year since the Haitian earthquake and the devastating aftermath. You are correct, a group of devotees, including myself, were there from the middle of January to the first few weeks in April. My role was to pull together all of the parties concerned and then launch our Prasadam Distribution Program (sanctified food) in full earnest.

We were very fortunate indeed that we were able to connect with the Indian Army stationed a short distance outside of Port au Prince. We approached the commander of the base and described in detail the mission at hand. Remember, there was chaos everywhere, so we first had to establish a safe and clean place for all of our volunteers to stay. The commandant of the base, erected tents for us to sleep in as well as sleeping cots, and even electricity for lights and some office equipment that we managed to bring with us. We then forged a relationship with the landowner next to the base to allow us to cook there.

We initially landed in the Dominican Republic where we purchased large custom made stoves and secured the largest pots we could find. Then we proceeded to obtain all of the items that we would need for our temporary kitchens. Finally, we purchased a truck to transport all of our supplies to the new outdoor kitchen facility. Our group managed approx. 5,000 meals per day for those most affected. The small children were the most affected as you could tell most of them were bordering on malnutrition.

All total, we distributed well over 100,000 meals and hopefully we touched the lives of these people with Chaitanya's mercy."

(My response to Pranaballabha is that you touched our lives with your report).

2 KM (but it felt like 10).

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