When horrible things happen, after we hear the initial news of the event and the enormity starts to sink in, what happens next is the local connection: what people around here are affected directly, either by their actually being there or having relatives there and the like. It's very natural, and it always illustrates how closely intertwined this world really is. The earthquake in Haiti seems far away at first, but as always, there are a number of local connections.
The one getting the most coverage here in Buffalo is a woman from West Seneca, a Buffalo suburb just across the street from Casa Jaquandor, who was in Haiti when the earthquake struck. She was there to complete the paperwork on adopting a child from that country. She is safe, as is the child; however, she had to return to Buffalo yesterday without her adoptive son, because there is no functioning government in Haiti right now to issue the kid a passport.
The news is possibly worse for another former Buffalonian, a college professor who used to teach here and who was inside a Port-au-Prince hotel when it collapsed in the quake.
The narratives from Haiti are very sad right now. Here's hoping they turn the corner as quickly as possible...but this is a country that has almost no infrastructure to handle anything even remotely of this magnitude. It's unimaginable.