Letter from Jim Ellinger:
Yes, Radio Zetwal RZFF-93.5FM "Radio Voice of the Peasants," did indeed go back on the air Sunday March 21st, 2010, 2 months and about nine days after the devastating 1/12/10 earthquake.
Thanks to all who donated equipment, funds, skills and sweat.
The tower crew and audio engineer hired by SAKS did the work that would have taken me days and days to complete, finished the job in just a day or so...and better!
Tower is back up to 60ft with new guy wires and hardware. Operating with just one of the two FM antenna bays, (both re-hung) because of reduced 100 watt power of the DIY rig donated by the AA Engineering Department. Station is licensed for 500 watts.
Station operates with small genny for power and a very simple plywood building. I slept for 5 days in simple building built with good Canadian wood, built by good Canadian soldiers.
Cold water bucket baths. Water rationing, as well as severe food shortages are the standard. The local spring stopped after the quake. Another geographical mystery.
Very nice Sign On Ceremony with many locals/leaders taking turns at the microphone. Well documented, audio, video, photos by Ernesto, myself, and Sony's great staff. I am sure many will be posted on various websites, Flickr, etc. later this week.
A great day for the village and region of Fondwa, as the last of the destroyed/damaged community radio stations goes back on the air in Haiti!
The western district was also heavily damaged, with most buildings "pancaked". The city of Longuane (sp?) was virtually destroyed, with remarkable, horrible, wide spread destruction. Some Blue Hats (UN) present with APCs and fairly heavy weaponry, strategically positioned right
in the middle of key intersections. Considerable resentment against Blue Hats because of widespread belief of murders and other ugliness committed. Still, they are they only effective, if you can call it that, police force on the ground.
Tip of the hat to the Canadian army, which put down their weapons and started building. Argentina, Venuzeula, Brazil and nearby neighbors, Cuba, were good amigos as well.
Plenty of USAID 'clasped hands' tarps, serving as shelters in the vast, vast IDP camps. Very desperate conditions prevail.
Many, many evangelicals here. Thousands. Many residing in heavily-fortified, b-wired compounds. In some areas on the only bldgs standing are the evangelical compounds. Resentment here too. This is a seriously Catholic country. 'Evans' bring food, water, power, transport, good int'l
phones, etc. But you must 'believe.'