Haiti changed me

A very appropriate topic for day 12 of #Janblogaday: Recovery. Today, three years ago, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the island nation of Haiti… the country’s worst earthquake in 200 years affecting more than 3 million people. (Writing from LAX on my phone…  forgive any mistakes).

The Haiti earthquake changed me in a whole lot of small ways. It was my first major disaster response working at World Vision, my first major opportunity as a social media professional, a nugget of gold in my studies for a degree in urban development.

I’m sure I was at home the morning the earthquake occurred. But it was quick when I heard about it, probably via a text chain from colleagues on alert. Walking into work that day felt more like a newsroom or a Wall Street than a suburban headquarter office. It was chaotic… But it was thrilling, I admit, and moving fast.

I spent the next six weeks working overtime on social media comms for the Haiti emergency response. I was engaged then, so my phone, email, updates and postings came with me wherever I went — even a wedding show, a monster truck rally, and everything in between… dinners, car rides, to bed.

I admit I loved it. Not the catastrophe, but the buzz of news and social media and peak in donor support. Haiti taught me disaster buzz — the flurry of news surrounding the world’s most visible disaster response.

And Haiti me also how very naive I’ve been to such important global news topics… and the devastation countries everyday are feeling from natural disasters, conflict, war. More so, the turmoil children and families live daily because of reoccurring issues that float just beneath the TV news radar. Gliding straight by the papers, and without a worthwhile Facebook mention.

Haiti changed me and made me someone who cares more. I cared then, but not the way I care now. I know now we can, I can, always care more.

Today, three years after the quake, Haiti is recovering from a disaster on top of their existing poverty issues. And I’ll never be naive to issues like these again.

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January blog a day | Lindsey Talerico-Hedren

More from #Janblogaday: Day 1: New… year, new resolution. Day 2: Two… things you should never say to your partner. Day 3: Bucket list… of (some un)realistic wishes. Day 4: Pet peeve… fountains are not the new jungle gym. Day 5: Fear not, even if I am a little crazy. Day 6: Embarrassment: Lindsey – 1, Dad – 4. Day 7: The shoe horoscope. Day 8: A little honesty. Day 9: Made with love: Wintery Instagram jam. Day 10: Grandma took my room, so I took her pajamas. Day 11: A husband confession. Tomorrow — Top ten ‘why not’ finds at Walmart.

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