First day in Haiti

We got up this morning early, ate breakfast (it was good and we ate a lot to fatten up before Haiti), got in a van and drove to the airport.

At the airport, we got at the UN airplane and took off for Port au Prince. We saw Port au Prince from the air and were stunned seeing big hills, houses on the hill side, and, of course, slums. We got off the airplane at the UN compound. I was shocked seeing so many UN trucks, hummers and UN forces some with guns.

Our pick up van arrived but we were asked to wait for 5 minutes which is ended up to be two hours. Finally, we took off and drove to the main hotel in Port au Prince.  The views of the city were quite shocking.  Poverty, destruction was showing up from every corner. I could see desperation in people faces.

When I arrived at the hotel, we were told we have to wait for an orientation (4 hours to kill). Port au Prince is not a place where you can just leave the hotel and walk around. You have to have a local driver take you around and only to work (hospital / clinics) and right back. So, no going out ever and curfew starts at 9 PM. So, we are stuck in the same building and the same people for a long time.

I got really lucky, the communications person happened to be around and he took me for a briefing he was going to do to a couple of big investors.   So, I had a chance do go to a part of town that was right in the earthquake zone. I saw a beautiful landscape but such a destruction.

When we came back, we  had an orientation with all the doctors and nurses. I got really lucky I was told I wasn’t going to stay at the hotel where most of the volunteers were staying (all in one big conference room, sleeping on mattresses and in tents. I was taken to a guest house and will be staying here for the whole month with staff people, We have showers, a cook, a washer, etc…

It’s late here and I got to get some rest. I will be starting my work tomorrow as a volunteer logistics officer.

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