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We spoke to a Haiti hospital after Hurricane Matthew. This is what they want you to know.

On Oct. 4, 2016, Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti's southern peninsula.

Photo by Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images.

And as you may or may not have seen in the news, it was pretty bad.


The death toll has risen to over 800 people and might grow as officials continue to reach the worst affected areas, according to The Weather Channel. Tens of thousands of houses have been damaged, and the Haitian president has called the situation "catastrophic."

Halfway down that peninsula is St. Boniface Hospital, which provides affordable medical care to local Haitians.

St. Boniface is a pretty important part of the local Haitian community, and it paints an important picture of what happens to poorer countries when large weather patterns hit.

St. Boniface, before the storm. Photo from St. Boniface Haiti Foundation, used with permission.

St. Boniface Hospital is located in the community of Fond-des-Blancs, and it has been a local fixture since 1983. It's where people can go if they need surgery or are having a baby. Fond-des-Blancs is pretty small, with a population of about 500 people, mostly farmers, so St. Boniface is often the only place to get medical care.

Fortunately, the eye of Hurricane Matthew missed Fond-des-Blancs and the hospital itself.

According to Liz Schwartz, the media and communications manager for the St. Boniface Haiti Foundation, which runs the hospital, the eye of the storm crossed further west instead, out to the very tip of the peninsula.

That direct area suffered severe storm damage, and people are still having trouble getting there to find out what's going on and provide aid. Many parts of the west are currently only accessible by helicopter.

Sous Roche, one of the areas further west that got hit by the hurricane. Photo by Nicolas Garcia/AFP/Getty Images

But while Fond-des-Blancs was spared the most severe damage, it doesn't mean the people there emerged unscathed.

The community was still hit with severe rain and wind and there's been a lot of local damage to houses, roads, and bridges. The hospital itself is still up and running though, thanks to electrical generators.

The wind blew the roof off this school. Part of a church collapsed nearby and a lot of houses have been damaged too. Photo from St. Boniface Haiti Foundation, used with permission.

St. Boniface normally sees about 300-500 patients a day, says Schwartz, and they have seen some injuries, such as cuts, though there haven't actually been that many patients coming in.

While that might sound like great news, it actually illustrates one of the hospital's biggest worries.

The storm's left a lot of people pretty much stranded.

The rain and wind were so intense that Schwartz said staff saw floodwaters reach a 20-foot-tall bridge. Further away, the La Digue Bridge was overtaken, and it actually collapsed, cutting off the peninsula's only major thoroughfare to the mainland.

People at the site of La Digue. Photo by Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images.

The road conditions aren't much better than the bridges. Most of the local roads aren't paved; they're dirt or gravel. The rain's washed a lot of them out or littered them with debris.

"Pretty much what they're seeing is that they can't get anywhere," said Schwartz.

Photo from St. Boniface Haiti Foundation, used with permission.

When people are cut off, they can't get the medical attention they might need.

"There are communities that are completely cut off," said Schwartz. "We can't even get to them to see what condition they're in."

Both locals and hospital workers have been working to restore drivability, and they're expecting to see a lot more people once travel is restored. In the meantime, people have been sent out into the communities to learn more and provide help.

Workers repairing a washed-out road. Photo from St. Boniface Haiti Foundation, used with permission.

They're also trying to get in contact with their partner clinics in the severely-damaged west end of the peninsula.

Beyond the storm's immediate effect, storms can cause bigger problems in poor countries, like hunger and disease.

Most of the surrounding areas are pretty poor. "The majority of people live on less than $2 a day," said Schwartz.

And because many people in Fond-des-Blancs are subsistence farmers, they may have trouble getting food if their crops were damaged or washed away by the storm.

Hunger could turn into a major humanitarian crisis too, according to Schwartz. Diseases like cholera can also erupt after a natural disaster when people struggle to get access to clean water.

Getting an ambulance unstuck. Photo from St. Boniface Haiti Foundation, used with permission.

And with the peninsula cut off from the mainland, it's going to be really hard to get supplies in. That bridge — the La Digue — was really important. Trucks can't go over the washed-out dirt roads.

Extreme weather patterns can have a lasting impact on poor countries — and we might start seeing more of them.

While this specific incident is a new story, it's also one we might be hearing more and more in the future. But without adequate infrastructure, it's going to take Haiti a while to recover. It won't be easy, and it won't be quick. Everyone in Haiti, and around the world, will need to help.

There are lots of ways to help from America too. Primarily, you can help fund local, well-established charities and institutions like St. Boniface. Material donations are going to run into the same shipping problem as everything else, but funds can help local relief efforts buy food and supplies.

The United States has also deployed an aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. George Washington, as well as an amphibious transport dock, a hospital ship, and nine helicopters to Haiti to help.

When a natural disaster hits, it's often hard for communities to get back on their feet.

But if we could be more aware of how natural disasters affect developing nations — if we can help stories like about this local hospital get attention — we can actually save lives and help a country recover.

Health

4 simple hacks to help you meet your healthy eating goals

Trying to eat healthier? Try these 4 totally doable tricks.

Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash

Most of us want to eat healthier but need some help to make it happen.

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When it comes to choosing what to eat, we live in a uniquely challenging era. Never before have humans known more about nutrition and how to eat for optimal health, and yet we’ve never been more surrounded by distractions and temptations that derail us from making healthy choices.

Some people might be able to decide “I’m going to eat healthier!” and do so without any problem, but those folks are unicorns. Most of us know what we should do, but need a little help making it happen—like some simple hacks, tips and tricks for avoiding pitfalls on the road to healthier eating.

While recognizing that what works for one person may not work for another, here are some helpful habits and approaches that might help you move closer to your healthy eating goals.

man pulling chip out of a chip bagOur mouths loves chips. Our bodies not so much.Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

Goal: Snack on less junk food

Tip: Focus your willpower on the grocery store, not your home

Willpower is a limited commodity for most of us, and it is no match for a bag of potato chips sitting on top of the fridge. It’s just a fact. Channeling your willpower at the grocery store can save you from having to fight that battle at home. If you don’t bring chips into your house in the first place, you’ll find it a lot easier to reach for something healthier.

The key to successful shopping trips is to always go to the store with a specific list and a full stomach—you’ll feel much less tempted to buy the junky snack foods if you’re already satiated. Also, finding healthier alternatives that will still satisfy your cravings for salty or crunchy, or fatty foods helps. Sugar snap peas have a surprisingly satisfying crunch, apples and nut butter hit that sweet-and-salty craving, etc.

slice of cakeYou can eat well without giving up sweets completely.Photo by Caitlyn de Wild on Unsplash

Goal: Eat less sugar

Tip: Instead of “deprive,” think “delay” or “decrease and delight”

Sugar is a tricky one. Some people find it easier to cut out added sugars altogether, but that can create an all-or-nothing mindset that all too often results in “all.” Eating more whole foods and less processed foods can help us cut out a lot of ancillary sugar, but we still live in a world with birthday cakes and dessert courses.

One approach to dessert temptation is to delay instead of deprive. Tell yourself you can have any sweet you want…tomorrow. This mental trick flips the “I’ll just indulge today and start eating healthier tomorrow” idea on its head. It’s a lot easier to resist something you know you can have tomorrow than to say no to something you think you’ll never get to have again.

Another approach when you really want to enjoy a dessert at that moment is to decrease the amount and really truly savor it. Eat each bite slowly, delighting in the full taste and satisfaction of it. As soon as that delight starts to diminish, even a little, stop eating. You’ve gotten what you wanted out of it. You don’t have to finish it. (After all, you can always have more tomorrow!)

colorful fresh food on a plateA naturally colorful meal is a healthy meal.Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash

Goal: Eat healthier meals

Tip: Focus on fresh foods and plan meals ahead of time

Meal planning is easier than ever before. The internet is filled with countless tools—everything from recipes to shopping lists to meal planning apps—and it’s as awesome as it is overwhelming.

Planning ahead takes the guesswork and decision fatigue out of cooking, preventing the inevitable “Let’s just order a pizza.” You can have a repeating 3-week or 4-week menu of your favorite meals so you never have to think about what you’re going to eat, or you can meal plan once a week to try new recipes and keep things fresh.

It might help to designate one day a week to “shop and chop”—getting and prepping the ingredients for the week’s meals so they’re ready to go in your fridge or freezer.

woman holding blueberries in her handsOrganic foods are better for the Earth and for us.Photo by andrew welch on Unsplash

Goal: Eat more organic/humanely raised food

Tip: Utilize the “dirty dozen” and “clean 15” lists to prioritize

Many people choose organic because they want to avoid pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals. Organic food is also better for the planet, and according to the Mayo Clinic, studies have shown that organic produce is higher in certain nutrients.

Most people don’t buy everything organic, but there are some foods that should take priority over others. Each year, researchers from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) analyze thousands of samples of dozens of fruits and vegetables. From this data, they create a list of the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” fruits and vegetables, indicating what produce has the most and least pesticide residue. These lists give people a good place to start focusing their transition to more organic foods.

To make organic eating even simpler, you can shop O Organics® at your local Albertsons or Safeway stores. The O Organics brand offers a wide range of affordable USDA-certified organic products in every aisle. If you’re focusing on fresh foods, O Organics produce is always grown without synthetic pesticides, is farmed to conserve biodiversity, and is always non-GMO. All animal-based O Organics products are certified humane as well. Even switching part of your grocery list to organic can make a positive impact on the planet and the people you feed.

Healthy eating habits don’t have to be all or nothing, and they don’t have to be complicated. A few simple mindset changes at home and habit changes at the grocery store can make a big difference.

Around 1 a.m. on April 24, semi-truck drivers in the Oak Park area of Michigan received a distress call from area police: An unidentified man was standing on the edge of a local bridge, apparently ready to jump onto the freeway below.

Those drivers then did something amazing. They raced to the scene to help — and lined up their trucks under the bridge, providing a relatively safe landing space should the man jump.

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Joy

Woman's explanation of 'girl math' has some scratching their heads while others nod along

In so many ways it makes a lot of sense...if you don't think about how nonsensical it is.

Woman's explanation of 'girl math' has some people confused

If you've been on any social media platform lately then you've likely heard about the different types of math. No not the one that makes 80s babies cry (otherwise known as common core), but the silly "math" like "boy math" or "girl math." Each explanation more ridiculous than the next while some take on a more serious tone, it's the silly ones that keep people wanting more.

Kelley Lorraine posted a video of her sitting in the car with her husband as she tries to explain "girl math" to him. It didn't take long for him to express confusion, many times interjecting with questions and audible noises of disproval. What was interesting to me was that everything she said made perfect sense...as long as you don't think about it too much.

Kelley's version of "girl math" had to be one of the most oxymoronic-nonsensical-logical reasoning that's ever been explained for this "math" challenge.

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Angelina Jordan blew everyone away with her version of 'Bohemian Rhapsody."

At Upworthy, we've shared a lot of memorable "America's Got Talent" auditions, from physics-defying dance performances to jaw-dropping magic acts to heart-wrenching singer-songwriter stories. Now we're adding Angelina Jordan's "AGT: The Champions" audition to the list because wow.

Jordan came to "AGT: The Champions" in 2020 as the winner of Norway's Got Talent, which she won in 2014 at the mere age of 7 with her impressive ability to seemingly channel Billie Holiday. For the 2020 audition, she sang Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," but a version that no one had ever heard before.

With just her Amy Winehouse-ish voice, a guitar and a piano, Jordan brought the fan-favorite Queen anthem down to a smooth, melancholy ballad that's simply riveting to listen to.

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Joy

Jimmy Carter's former talent handler shares a sweet story about him meeting a young girl

The way Carter interacted with the second grader exemplifies the 99-year-old former president's genuine care and kindness.

Jimmy Carter has grown to become one of the most beloved former presidents in history.

Jimmy Carter turned 99 years old on October 1, 2023, with people from around the world paying tribute to the longest-living former president. Carter has been in hospice for the past 7 months, and as he nears the end of his long life, people are sharing their personal stories involving the man known for his decades of humanitarian, peace-building work after leaving the White House.

One story comes from Noel Casler, a comedian and talent handler who has worked with many celebrities and public figures. He took to X (formerly Twitter) to share an encounter he witnessed between Jimmy Carter and a young girl at the Goodwill Games.

"When I was Prez Carter’s talent handler it was the Goodwill Games in NYC. When Carter arrived I was to take him to [the] stage to join Ted Turner, Gov Pataki, Gerald Levin & Giuliani to kick off the event," he began.

On their way to the stage, Casler shared, a young girl who was a standout inner-city school student in around the second grade approached President Carter to say hello.

"You would have thought the world stopped for Jimmy Carter," Casler wrote. "He knelt down to look her in the eyes and began a long series of questions about the subjects she was studying, what her favorites were." When she said math and science were her among her favorites, Carter "lit up."

But what showcases Carter's caring personality is the way he treated her.

"He smiled and acted as if she was the only person there," Casler explained. "The thing is he didn't talk to her like she was a kid. There wasn't condescension of any air of I'm an ex-Prez wan a pic to show off."

"It was one man talking to the future generations and coming from a place of deep empathy, compassion and care for how we leave this planet and the lives of those upon it. Faith in action."

Casler wrote that he got nervous when they started calling for Carter to head to the stage, but the former president was "chill."

People frequently cite Carter's humility and compassion for others as highlights of his post-presidency legacy, and this interaction showcases those qualities beautifully.

Casler also expounded on Carter's ability to talk to anyone with ease.

"I’ve seen him on other occasions speak with full authority on the magic of Chuck Leavell’s left hand & hanging with the Allman Brothers. Carter is a renaissance man if ever there was one but his greatest gift is the example of how he lives in life," he wrote. "Happy 99th President Carter."

People loved reading this simple, personal story about a man who will leave the world with many such examples of his care and attention to whoever was in front of him.

"This is such a wonderful thread about a very special, compassionate man," wrote Nancy Sinatra. "Thank you, Noel. Thank you."

"Exactly who Jimmy Carter is," shared Jody Dean. "Once interviewed him and Ernie Banks on the same day. President Carter sat before Banks in our green room, listening to Ernie in rapt attention. An 8-year-old with a signed Ernie Banks baseball card could not have beamed more brightly."

"Jimmy Carter is the best human being to ever be president and it was honestly mean of us to make him do that," wrote Hunter Felt.

"Thank you, Noel, for this heartrending tribute. Carter is a jewel and remembering him always lifts my sagging spirits." shared Marina Margetts.

Happy 99th, Jimmy Carter, the former U.S. president whose legacy of human kindness and compassion will endure long after he leaves us.

Canva

Marty and Jess Ansen have spent nearly 500 days onboard Princess Cruise Lines

For many, if not most of us, the purpose of retirement is to sit back and enjoy life. A chance to see the world, take up new hobbies, explore what it means to simply exist without having to clock in.

So it’s almost no wonder that more and more retirees are finding themselves on cruise ships, where relaxation, adventure (and having someone else do your chores) are the name of the game.

Retired Australian couple Marty and Jess Ansen can certainly attest to this—having spent close to 500 days sailing around the world on their 51 back-to-back cruises.

That’s right. 51 cruises. Back. To. Back.

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Family

12 hilariously relatable comics about life as a new mom.

Embarrassing stains on your T-shirt, sniffing someone's bum to check if they have pooped, the first time having sex post-giving birth — as a new mom, your life turns upside-down.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

Some good not so good moments with babies.



Embarrassing stains on your T-shirt, sniffing someone's bum to check if they have pooped, the first time having sex post-giving birth — as a new mom, your life turns upside-down.

Illustrator Ingebritt ter Veld and Corinne de Vries, who works for Hippe-Birth Cards, a webshop for birth announcements, had babies shortly after one another.

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