Remember Haiti? The impoverished Caribbean island became the focus of international attention in January when a 7.0 earthquake killed an estimated 230,000 people and left countless more displaced. For awhile, it was hard to open a newspaper without reading a story about relief efforts on the ground or a fundraiser in the classroom. Nowadays, with BP and Abby Sunderland dominating the headlines, you rarely hear it mentioned.
The title of the Los Angeles Times' series on Haiti this summer — "Living in Limbo" — hinted at how much work still needed to be done. So we should be doubly grateful for people like Matt Vecere, a former Huntington Beach resident who quit his job last month, booked a one-way ticket to Haiti and now spends his days assisting people whose poverty would shock the leanest parts of Orange County.
I heard about Vecere from former Independent City Editor Jennifer Frehn and managed to reach him by e-mail. The country, he noted, had spotty electricity, and he was lucky enough to have a generator to power his computer.