Editor's Pick

Slowly But Surely, Life Goes On In Haiti

NPR photographer David Gilkey is back in Haiti, along with reporter Jason Beaubien. He has been there periodically since the January earthquake left Port-au-Prince devastated, and has this latest update.

  • A man passes an outdoor latrine at Camp Corail, an organized relocation camp, outside Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Tuesday.
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    A man passes an outdoor latrine at Camp Corail, an organized relocation camp, outside Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Tuesday.
    David Gilkey/NPR
  • After January's devastating earthquake, internally displaced people in Port-au-Prince's makeshift camps were moved to Camp Corail in an attempt to give them a safer and more permanent living situation.
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    After January's devastating earthquake, internally displaced people in Port-au-Prince's makeshift camps were moved to Camp Corail in an attempt to give them a safer and more permanent living situation.
    David Gilkey/NPR
  • Construction workers erect walls for a new shower facility at Camp Corail.  According to The Associated Press, the camp has a "stocked U.N. Food Program warehouse for its 3,000-and-counting residents."
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    Construction workers erect walls for a new shower facility at Camp Corail. According to The Associated Press, the camp has a "stocked U.N. Food Program warehouse for its 3,000-and-counting residents."
    David Gilkey/NPR
  • A boy walks between hundreds of tents. While the recovery plan for Haiti is still unclear, the country's needs remain great.
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    A boy walks between hundreds of tents. While the recovery plan for Haiti is still unclear, the country's needs remain great.
    David Gilkey/NPR
  • A welcome sign sign hangs outside a tent. The people who have moved to Camp Corail are struggling with the distance to the main city — and with the fact that there are no jobs in the area.
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    A welcome sign sign hangs outside a tent. The people who have moved to Camp Corail are struggling with the distance to the main city — and with the fact that there are no jobs in the area.
    David Gilkey/NPR
  • Fabienne Desane waits for a storm to pass. Fortunately, Haiti's rainy season has thus far been relatively dry and has not caused too great a problem.
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    Fabienne Desane waits for a storm to pass. Fortunately, Haiti's rainy season has thus far been relatively dry and has not caused too great a problem.
    David Gilkey/NPR
  • What was once an American food container is recycled into a planter at Camp Corail.
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    What was once an American food container is recycled into a planter at Camp Corail.
    David Gilkey/NPR
  • A Haitian boy attempts to fly a kite. Compared with the hustle of Port-au-Prince, Camp Corail is relatively quiet.
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    A Haitian boy attempts to fly a kite. Compared with the hustle of Port-au-Prince, Camp Corail is relatively quiet.
    David Gilkey/NPR
  • A vendor sells cold drinks outside a refugee camp near the collapsed presidential palace in downtown Port-au-Prince.
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    A vendor sells cold drinks outside a refugee camp near the collapsed presidential palace in downtown Port-au-Prince.
    David Gilkey/NPR
  • Port-au-Prince is bustling and on the mend.
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    Port-au-Prince is bustling and on the mend.
    David Gilkey/NPR
  • A boy rests on a pile of scrap steel torn out of the ruins of collapsed buildings in downtown Port-au-Prince. Scrap steel is sold to foreign traders and shipped out of the country.
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    A boy rests on a pile of scrap steel torn out of the ruins of collapsed buildings in downtown Port-au-Prince. Scrap steel is sold to foreign traders and shipped out of the country.
    David Gilkey/NPR
  • Women wait at a taxi stand in downtown Port-au-Prince. Things may be calm in Haiti, but the road to recovery still stretches ahead.
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    Women wait at a taxi stand in downtown Port-au-Prince. Things may be calm in Haiti, but the road to recovery still stretches ahead.
    David Gilkey/NPR

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On the phone this morning, David reported that recovery in Haiti seems "kind of stuck," but, he added, "it's not hopeless." He and Beaubien sent their reports after traveling a few miles out of Port-au-Prince to Camp Corail.

For the past few weeks, displaced Haitians, who had been living in makeshift tent villages in downtown Port-au-Prince, have been moved to encampments like this one in Croix-Des-Bouquets. According to David, it's clean, orderly and quiet.

The problem, though, is the commute. There's no way to make a living at a camp like Corail, and the commute into town is too costly for many. "People are reluctant to leave what little life they’ve carved out for themselves [in Port-au-Prince]," David says. Because although Haitians are living in makeshift camps downtown, life seems to go on. "If the camp you’re in is home, why would you move to purgatory?"

In Port-au-Prince, vendors are back on the streets, children are back in schools and "things seem very normal, considering the circumstances," David says. Haiti's reconstruction is still a huge and daunting task, but at least the energy has calmed — for now, anyway.

On Morning Edition, Beaubien discussed the conditions with host Steve Inskeep:

For more coverage, check out NPR's news blog, The Two-Way.

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