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VM Blog: Christina Alexander says Haiti is a long-term commitment

When the Haiti earthquake struck, Christina Alexander decided to go. She was on one of the first Scientology-chartered flights that brought doctors, nurses and other emergency response personnel to Haiti. What stuck her in Haiti was the desperate lack of everything, even the most basic needs. “I felt really proud but humble, and honored to be there among such selfless, hard-working volunteers from all over the world,” she said.

Christine spent more than 50 days in Haiti, first as support staff, providing food and assistance to medical personnel and volunteers at the base camp at the Port-au-Prince Airport. Later, she delivered food, water and TLC to the kids in the orphanages, and worked on the training team, delivering seminars in technology developed for the Volunteer Ministers program by Scientology Founder, L. Ron Hubbard. She feels strongly that Haiti requires a long-term commitment. Her advice to people planning to come to Haiti to volunteer: Don’t try to go to Haiti with a physical disability or medical condition requiring medication. The conditions are simply too harsh, so physical fitness is a must. For anyone with concern about malaria they visit a own doctor and obtain medication at least two days before leaving home. Bring generous quantities of the vitamins normally taken, plus a lot of salt, potassium, vitamin C and electrolytes - more than you expect to need. For Scientology Volunteer Ministers study the Volunteer Ministers Scientology Assists booklet and learn these procedures very well. This will come in extremely useful.

She also recommends the following common sense points: Pack light; no warm clothing is necessary; lightweight cargo pants are ideal; sensible shoes; flip-flops for the shower; something waterproof (a VM jacket or a plastic poncho); no electrical devices; camping dishes and cutlery are a big help; a flashlight (the headlamp kind is best); definitely a backpack (not too large) and something that can be worn around the neck, waist or thigh, to carry your passport at all times. Finally, bring CASH, in small bills. You can buy batteries, shampoo, insect repellent, etc. at the local supermarket, but most of the ATMs don't work and credit cards are useless. Most things can be purchased with American dollars, but any change you get will be in local currency. Like so many other Scientology Volunteer Ministers who went to Haiti, Christina is planning to return for another month of service.