Battle rages on
Bob Hood's small army fights the good fight in Haiti
By Willie Kiernan
In the continued effort to bridge the spirit of goodwill from Cazenovia to Haiti, a small army visited the impoverished country to do battle against devastating odds.
"We saw and we felt their pain. We held starving babies. We understand their need," said Bob Hood.
Thibeau is the village where St Ives resides, the sister church that the St. James Catholic Church of Cazenovia has embraced. In a process they call twinning, Cazenovians have been lending support for several years. As a frequent visitor, Hood has led the charge.
"What the eye cannot see, the heart cannot understand," quoted Hood.
Despite political unrest, a lack of any modern day infrastructure, disease and poverty, many Haitians cling to their faith and endure despite overwhelming hardship.
"Five of us traveled throughout Haiti, two days after well publicized rioting by starving Haitians," Hood said. "While tensions and frustrations were evident, Haitian hope, gratitude, and their enduring spirit moved each of us to further our efforts to make a difference in their lives."
During this global food crisis, the poorest are the hardest hit. In Haiti, rice has gone up 140 percent since January.
"While Americans are forced to cut back on extras, the only thing the Haitians have to cut back on is eating," Hood said.
Global climate change; food production policies; technological growth and increased consumption in China and India together exacerbate the unemployment, illiteracy, starvation and incomprehensible poverty that is forcing Haitians to eat dirt to fill their stomachs.
"Protests and riots in Haiti are understandable," Hood said. "We saw and photographed a site where mud cakes (clay, oil and sugar) were being made and we purchased some (about a penny each), across the street from Paul Farmer's hospital."