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Living in the Midst of Death

Aid workers are rush to rescue while others are being rescued.

Aid worker in Haiti paying a cost

Christina Belsford, 25, of Phoenix may carry with her much more than memories from her time in Haiti, the Philadelphia Inquirerreports. She may lose a leg. But she owes her life to the people she came to serve – two Haitians dug Belsford from beneath a collapsed building in Fayet, outside of Port-au-Prince, where she and her brother, Julian, 27, were working with Heads Together on education and environmental issues. Christina was evacuated to Miami. Julian remained in Haiti to help. In a September 2, 2009 post to his blog, Julian wrote:

There are a great many of us who have great hopes for Haiti and willing to put our energy behind those hopes. As we do this, I'd like us to think always about how we can accomplish the very most, how we can create friendship and love and concrete gains through our work, and to avoid feeding conflict by focusing on who we can blame, who we dislike, who we can pick a fight with. We'll always be capable of picking a fight, but at the same time, we'll always be capable of feeding hunger without feeding hate.

Reporting from the ground

Staff members at Real Hope for Haiti, a medical clinic and rescue center 20 miles northwest of the Haitian capital, are updating their blog with reports and photos.

"[Enoch] was shot in the shoulder when he was 13 during one of the overthrows of the government here," Licia blogged about her husband. "He has seen lots…. But this is the worse [sic] he has ever seen."

On January 14, Enoch loaded the car with medical supplies and drove to the capital with Lori, a nurse. "He said he saw with his eyes enough today," writes Licia. "They were picking up bodies with tractors and buckets and dumping them into dump truck. He saw 10 dump truck full…."

While they care for the injured in the capital and for those who enter their clinic, the Zachery family is searching for a way to feed the babies in their rescue center as they run low on formula and on fuel for transportation.

Haitians earning a living – in the US and at home

The New York Times reports that the Obama administration has granted special immigration status to Haitians living illegally within the United States. The status gives them permission to work and protection from deportation for 18 months.

In Port-au-Prince, the United Nations is offering payment to those who collect bodies.

"They pay me $100 a day," Valencia Joseph, 32, said Friday at 2 a.m., as he was called to tug a body free of wires. "We must have picked up 2,000 bodies."

He added, "And there's more."

Just the facts

The Week summarizes what happened, who's been affected, and who's helping in Haiti.

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