Hello Everyone! I arrived this morning to a bustling, maniacal Port Au Prince. The flight over from Miami this morning gave me a good perspective on the mountainous landscape before landing. It’s beautiful… from afar. As we zoomed in closer and closer I started noticing half demolished buildings, patchwork “quilts” of tent camps, and trash.
After de-planing, shuffling through customs, and searching through piles of luggage on the floor for 20 minutes before finding my lonely bag lying in a corner behind a non-moving luggage conveyer belt, I literally wrestled with the “courtesy” baggage carriers before seeing the smiling face of Segrine, the Architecture For Humanity representative to welcome me. She showed me to the car and introduced me to Jeremy, another volunteer starting today as well.
We went through perhaps the worst part of town on the way to the office. The photos below will give you an idea of the sate of shambles in which this place exists. It’s been this way for a while though. The earthquake was just the icing on the cake of chaos and poverty that is Haiti. Somehow, though, the locals seem to function in a hap-hazard way in this hazardous town, which is when this undertone of spirit and culture brims over the edge.
After being introduced to all of the nice people in the office, Segrine took Jeremy and I to a nice little restaurant next door that served delicious local fare. Not all food and drink here is unsafe, and I was happy to see a cute clean cafe functioning successfully. When Jeremy asked Segrine what the little bags of water were doing hung in all of the glass-less windows, she replied, “When the mosquitos fly up and see their reflection, they don’t like it and they fly away.” Clever…
Back at the office, we had a weekly Friday afternoon review of all projects, then we went to the house… More on the Office and the House later. For now, Im exhausted.
(Above) Note the goat in the foreground (they’re everywhere), and the girl in the background. She’s hanging her laundry to dry on a fallen wall.
(Above) Seatbelts either aren’t required, or using them isn’t enforced!