All Hands

By: Geneviève Bisson

This is Luciana, and this is where she used to live. This used to be where she baked fresh bread every second of the day to sell to local shops. This used to be where she raised her kids who are now all grown up. This used to be where she laughed cried and slept. This used to be her home.

Today I saw Luciana’s sad eyes and tight heart as we pulled the remains of her house to the ground. We made sure everything was safe, we counted to 3, and what took years to build instantly fell to the ground.

This place she used to call home is now a reminder of what she lost in the devastating earthquake. We took it down, deconstructed it, cleared the rubble and moved on to another house with a different but heart wrenching story. This is the reality of the situation and this is what needs to be done to start building again. Natural disasters leave many traces, both physical and emotional. The buildings seem to be the only ones wearing the scars, with their broken windows, caving rooftops and crumbling walls. We also need to look beyond that broken down house and see the person who feels broken and help them cope.

I salute the hard workers and volunteers of All Hands Organization. I had the privilege of sharing a few days with them. Your hard work and passion does not go unnoticed. I salute all aid workers out there who day-in and day-out invest their heart and soul into helping people who we’re affected by these tragedies. I know they take a bit of the scars and pain home with them. It’s far from easy to witness all of this.

THANK YOU for everything you give and do.