Well mates, is it not enough a picture and a subjet? For all of you that need a bit more, let me explain you what is going on over here...
Here you have, a motivated team just working for the same goals and the same challenge... There is not reason for make any distintion about which company they become, or where they come from or how far away are they from home... The target was achieved... ambassador of Egypt HE, Ashraf Rashed left with a wide smile and the work was welldone as usual :)
Just a simple look to this picture, can provid you a wider view about all things local people are doing for Haiti's people.
I would like to type some words for giving thanks to all that guys working on WFP's warehouse (Caucedo). A crew plenty of emotions, fresh ideas, healthy way of being and so much initiative... a band of guys ready for load or unload a truck of cement blocks, heavy boxes with boots, etc., etc.
Some differences by the way… Instead of letters of salutations, almanacs, etc this time we stamped on Coupons. This time the amount of stamps needed was a 7 number figure… 1 Million coupons. Peter Casier, responsible for the Santo Domingo’s Emergency office, made the request on Wednesday’s 5 PM daily meeting and the office converted into a post office for the next 3 days. People from every department of WFP participated, no matter job responsibility or hierarchy. The following day we were communicated that the amount needed reduced to half, a relief but still a lot to do.
Yesterday was the first day I could go to the Airport to see (on field) what I came for and... it was pretty good to see with my own eyes why many things were done from all TNT depots all around the World... I mean, It is quite difficult to understand where all that money we collect is going and what is that amount for....People, finally here it is the result of our effors... a truck plenty of mattress, clothes, and a prefabric office going straigh to Haiti.
I’ve been here for 10 days and it seems that I knew the team from old times. It’s very grateful being part of a very committed and focused group. Even though people are tired after several weeks of intensive work and their faces show this, around here you will not receive an “I can’t”. We work more than 12 or 14 hours a day for one reason, on the other side of the border there are people who need this effort from us.
Weird feeling is the one I feel while I am writing these lines. I have the feeling that I was in a race of cars running at 200 Km/h!! Now that race is over, well almost as I still need to adjust to the local time with the 5hrs difference.
What a great experience, I am starting to step back and realise the job we did as a team from Santo Domingo for Haiti really makes me proud of being part of a logistic family.
Karim has left us after tree weeks. By now he will be back in Belgium. But last Sunday I picked up Juan Nieto he is ERT member and Ops Supervisor from Argentina and will take over Karims tasks.
In total we sent over 600 trucks over to Haiti: Elisabet Fadul (local WFP staff) started on 12 January with the first one and yesterday Juan sent over nr 600.
Yesterday I visited the local TNT office in Santa Domingo. It is not a very big operation, they export only about 16 shipments a week and have an import of about 200. They have only four dedicated persons and the delivery is done by the cars they are using also for their own use.
In the Dominica Republic TNT uses an agent called “Vimenpaq”. The agent also works for Transexpress, IBexpress, UPS, FEDEX, DHL and there own company Expreso Nacional.
Like helping a team from the NRC “The Norwegian Refugee Council” this is an independent, humanitarian non-governmental organization which provides assistance, protection and durable solutions to refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide.
And then there is the team of cooks. I have been rather busy with these people when they came over to Santa Domingo. They could not find the material they sent over using DHL. I tracked down the materials in a warehouse of DHL, made sure they were able to clear it and hired a truck to bring it over to where they were staying.