Country singer "Big Kenny" filed the following blog from his journey to Haiti in search of his friend, Walt Ratterman, who was staying at the Montana Hotel in Port-au-Prince:
Riding the winding roads of the Dominican Republic with 10 doctors and our crew headed toward the border town of Jamini, where one hospital and triage has been set up by AMI [Aide Medicale Internationale] et als. The descriptions of the casualties is heart-sinking, though the outpouring of aid from around the world that I am witnessing is none short of amazing. Many on our same flight. Many on this bus with me. Love is flowing. That is good.
I heard a French girl was pulled from the Montana Hotel wreckage today alive. Still 7 search-and-rescue teams working there. I remain faithful. What a reminder to let the daily small stuff fly out the window and really live our dreams!
Life is always in the moment.
Four more hours driving. We will stay in Jamini tonight and hope to move into Port-au-Prince tomorrow. Fuel supplies are low.
After another quake today Haiti will need all the help it can get for a long time. I guess one of the best ways we can all help is spread the word. I'm excited to think the music industry will step up and raise a great voice for our hurting neighbors so near to our south.
Another great education in life this is. "Tomorrow I might have to go and fly away."
Keeping it positive and running fast as I can to find my friend!
Everybody help however small or BIG. I would hope someone would come if it were my town.
Compassion and grace are the balance to the extreme and hectic race we're each running in our own lives daily.
When I see how people can care so much in the trying times I believe even more in the obtainability of peace.
We come into the world with nothing, we leave with nothing. The true treasure is in the heart and continues forever only in the wealth of our spirits.
Here's to great spirits!
Walt. Keep tapping!
God Bless you for your efforts in Haiti.We waited all night last night here in Tennessee for a missionary who was trying to bring out 40 orphans. We heard the government would only let the children out that had adoptive homes, even though there are many many families here willing to take the children. The last we heard they were at the embassy trying to get out. If it would be possible for you to go there and possibly help them in any way, it would be a God send. If someone would be able to do this, you could email me, and I will give you the name of the minister who is taken on this huge mission. I don't want to put out too much information online. We have three counties lined up to feed and house them if they are able to get out. It may seem impossible, but we must try!
I pray Walt is safe. You are a true friend Kenny.
Disappointed – you know so many people get upset when we make this about politics. But it is about politics. We see all these fundraisers being done by superstars, we see the government not argue about sending our tax money over to help another country but constantly argue over how the tax money is spent here (health care bill).
I do think it is great that we are helping Haiti. However, I can't help but feel disappointed if not betrayed (having been a victim of our economy) by the government that have given millions and by the corporations that have laid off and outsourced so many of our jobs...also donate millions.
Hey Big K, it's Doug C (piano man) from Haggards camp, we are all praying for you on your mission man. You are an inspiration bro.
Best Wishes and Best of Luck
Thank you so much for helping in the search and rescue of Walt Ratterman. Please get forces moving over there to remove the debris. God Bless and God speed!!!!
Big Kenny has a heart as big as the world. He is more than just a country superstar. I've met him in person. He is a genuine, caring human being that isn't self absorbed and uses his power for good. Darfur is one of his pet causes.
thank you for your amazing heart. for those of you who are not aware of his music. Big Kenny's new solo project is not just country music.."the song less than whole " is perfect for all we are feeling...the whole album is encouraging. I feel so good each time i listen to it. THank you Kenny, our prayers are with you and your family. You are a rare true friend. rioz family
Kudos Kenny for following your heart to look for your friend. I sincerely hope you find him and that you get the miracle you went there to find. To those (thankfully few here) people who admire the generosity to Haiti but wonder why we can't come together like this for our own homeless and suffering, I understand the question but ask you to consider this. Even those who are homeless in our country have it better than the people in Haiti right now. It's sad to be sure, but at least in the US, the homeless still have access to our infrastructure....shelters, places to provide food and safety, hospitals and medical care. In Haiti, even before the quake, these were luxuries the Haitians didn't have. After the quake, they sleep in the street with little food or clean water for days and days. Medical care is almost nonexistent or at least woefully insufficient for the need, and what little infrastructure they had has been wiped out. Yes, we need to take care of our own too, but even those of us struggling by US standards right now, can see that we're incredibly lucky in comparison to Haitians.
While we are safe at home Big Kenny is there doing good work. We want you to know that you are in our prayers. Even one person can make a difference.
It is impossible to adequately express my gratitude in words. All my love to you and the team. Thank you for helping Haiti. Thank you for going to find my dad.
Big K – please keep singing to Walt. You know him from Sudan & must have shared songs with him.
Thank you for you. It's because of people like you that PEACE is possible. I pray that you find your friend soon and that you stay safe. You are really a true friend and I know your friend would do the same for you. May God keep you and the Haitian people safe during this tragedy.
I have a friend still trapped in the Hotel Montana as well. Thank You for doing this for your friend Walt. I'm one of the members of the facebook page "Haiti Earthquake Hotel Montana". We get very little news of what is happening there. Many of us are friends or Family of those missing. We would be so grateful for any news you can give us from the ground. We are a upbeat supportive site. We respect that names of the living or dead found cannot, and should not be released out of respect for the families, but are desperate for news from the site.
We were so encouraged and rejoiced at the news of the French girl being found Alive at the Hotel Montana yesterday! That news we did not get from the media ( still haven't heard it through the media) but was passed along to us through Walt's group. This news gave us all HOPE, and gave us the boost we need to hold on and keep praying!
Praying for you and your team! Praying for Walt and praying for all the others! Please tell the SAR teams how thankful we are for them and we are praying for them too!
I truly hope that you find your friend with all my heart ..But I don't understand how they can let a friend of a friend in to search when a Mother & Father can't get in to search for their 23 year old Daughter that was @ the same hotel montana..She was there on a Mission Of Hope & was only there an hour when the earthquake struck..Shame on all of you for thinking that a friend is more important than a Daughter...
Big, your comments brought tears to my eyes. Your strong friendship for Walt is truly a gift to you both, he is lucky to have you. Your compassion for mankind is truly heartfelt. We are lucky to have you. God bless you in your journey to your friend.
how about the homeless, suffering people here? guess other countries come first. our problems can wait for another day....when we are a couple trillion dollars in debt.
Hey, BIG Kenny, your life now is RICHER than RICH because you show what true friendship is all about. As for "disappointed", our citizens here are being helped, but they've got to want to help themselves, too. There are many homeless people here in the state that I live, who have been homeless for 10 years. Come on, at some point, they have got to get off their arses & put their lives back together, instead of waitng for help all the time. Those Haitians, they have loss everything, and they know that "help" is not going to be a forever thing. I live from paycheck to paycheck, too, but I managed to give, because in some weird way, COMPASSION is the word I still believe in.
i believe this reflection can be become a song!!1
Big Kenny...there is a facebook site called "Haiti Earthquake Hotel Montana". Your blog link was posted there and has been an inspiration to many on the site. Nearly 13,000 members, all of whom are filled with hope that their loved ones will be found soon. Pictures and descriptions are continually posted to help provide Search & Rescue teams with indentifying information. There hasn't been much news coverage at the area. It would be great if you could post whatever news you come upon while at the site. The site is POSITIVE HOPE oriented and they do request that no names of those either rescued or recovered be posted in order to protect the friends and families of those who stay ever so vigilant at the site. Thank you for whatever information you can gather. Thinking of your friend as well as all the others missing in Haiti.
To Disapppointed: you're right and you're wrong – we have failed sometimes in the past, individually and as a nation, but we're not failing now, individually as Big Kenny is doing, and as a nation. If you ever go to Haiti, or the favelas in Rio, or the shanty towns outside Caracas or Lima or Bogota, etc. you will soon see what a Peruvian friend said to me when he saw the how the poor live here the US – "hmm...middle class". We need to do better, but we're on our way.
Just goes to show that underneath that total craziness of yours, is
a heart of gold and a wonderful love.
Patty, "Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy" is one of his and Rich's songs, among others.
Kenny, what you are doing is beyond good, it is extraordinary. If I had the means and the call, I'd be there at that hotel searching and searching until we found your friend, missing college students and instructors, and anyone else who may still be trapped in there.
I applaud people for wanting to help and for giving of their available resources – however, I do find it a lil disturbing that we hear on the news all about how fuel supplies are low, airplanes cant land with relief supplies and medical supplies because the airport is full... and yet more and more people who really don't NEED to be in this small and already overpopulated country seem to be flooding in. There isn't enough food and water and shelter to sustain the indigenous people of Haiti – why do the news crews and others feel they have to flood the already crumbling infrastructure with more people? I understand what they are TRYING to do – but do they realize that they are overwhelming an already unstable area? A news crew from the nightly national news requires how many camera crews and various personnel to beam a 20 min show (without commercials) to EACH television network. AND it seems every network had a crew there. Come one people – one news crew compiled of people from different networks could have done the same job and would have shown what the humans can really do to pull together in an emergency situation.
Again – I applaud Big Kenny for showing the friendship he is and I understand his need to find his friend. I have always and will continue to always be a fan of BK and John Rich.
My point is lets think clearly people and give what is ACTUALLY needed of ourselves – fund the relief efforts – not put more pressure to survive on a devastated country.
I too have a friend that is still trapped in the Hotel Montana. 9 days and counting. Here is to hoping that there are still people alive. My heart goes out to everyone that has a loved on who is still missing. What a nightmare this wait has been.
I don't know who "Big Kenny" is. Guess I'm not in touch with modern country music but "Big Kenny's" blog caught my eye.
Most of us have experienced trying times and senseless tragedies both as individuals and as citizens of planet Earth.
I applaud Big Kenny's blog thoughts. Whether we are experiencing the everyday struggles or literally struggling to survive, the basics of life are universally true.
So Big 'K – thank you for the reminder to live each moment. The truest of treasure does exist within each our hearts. Compassion, grace and forgiveness are the building blocks of a rich life. And Peace is alive, well and most definitely obtainable!
May we all be as rich as Walt in having a friend who would go to the ends of the earth to find us in our time of need!
Good Luck and Best Wishes Big 'K ~ I hope you find Walt.
Thank God for people like this who not only give of their money and words, but truly give of their time and lives to do what they can. To Disappointed, I hope you and your loved ones are never in need of the basics like water, food and shelter. We are so spoiled in this country, I am ashamed to think that anyone would express disappointment in what little we are doing to help in Haiti. This is a nation that has been completely destroyed, hundreds of thousands killed, injured and missing. Millions left homeless when the homes they had would have amounted to nothing in this country. The homeless in the US would probably have turned up their noses at the day to day living conditions in Haiti. I find it disappointing to think we have citizens like you. I struggle to live paycheck to paycheck but I have a job, home and food. I gave to the relief effort and will continue to give whatever I can.
Not sure Big Kenny will see this but if he does I hope you find your friend.I am thinking about and praying for everyone in Haiti.
Big Kenny, you are a very good friend. I know your friend would probably do the same for you. You are fortunate to have such a great friendship. Good Luck and God Bless.
I dearley hope your friend will make it.
You are manning up, by going to look for your friend.
Where is Country Music, and the Concerts around the US to raise Money.
Something anything, Country Stars should ALL be stepping up NOW.
Hang in there Walt.....................God Bless YOU
Big Kenny, we are with you in heart and spirit. My prayers go to everyone in Haiti and everyone that is helping. A special prayer goes to you, your crew and Walt for teaching us a lesson on the true meaning of friendship!
I thank God for people just like you. I am sure many people are placing their own lives on a temporary hold to help others with theirs. I am glad all the help is there and pray that you find your friend soon.
God bless you and all in Haiti.
I think it's great that people are helping Haiti out...however, I find it disappointing that we're so quick to rush to help other countries, but can't even take care of our own people (homeless, children, elderly, etc) in our own country. What would happen if we were to get as much aid to our homeless, etc., as we have sent and spent to Haiti?
I was not a fan of country music, but after reading your blog, you have just won a fan.
Big K, you are the kind of friend everyone should have. Your devotion and compassion for your missing friend shows that if everyone would just open their hearts, give and show you care, this world would be a much better place to live in. God will bless you and guide you to your friend whatever the outcome.
It is good to know they are good people in world and you are one of a kind. May the Lord bless you and protect you in your journey. I hope you find your friend.
Big K, you are setting one of the greatest examples of friendship and life that I have ever seen. God be with you on your journey and with all those who need His blessings in Haiti, including your friend.
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