See how I got to Haiti here.
I can’t be specific about which organization I went with because I agreed not to speak on its behalf in any media outlet. Suffice it to say that it is well-run, well-intentioned, and effective. God does good work through them, and I was glad to be a part of it even for a short time. I will continue to support them with donations and prayer.
I arrived on Saturday morning after flying all night from Denver to Miami, and Miami to Haiti. Getting from the plane to the staff compound took hours, between finding luggage, clearing customs, finding our driver amongst all the nationals trying to earn a few dollars (or twenty, as one suggested) by rolling my luggage fifty feet. The traffic was crazy– unusually so, our driver said– and it took two hours to get from the airport to the compound thirty miles north.
I used that two hours to take a gazillion bad photos of Part-au-Prince through the windows of the van.
Once out of Port-au-Prince, we drove along the northern peninsula, where the water was just beautiful.
On the other side of the road, on the hillside, were hundreds of tents set up by people living there to be near the mass grave where their families were buried after the January, 2010, earthquake.
I have to insert a caveat here that, due to security concerns, I never left the confines of the NGO compound, secured vehicle, or highly guarded clinic. The clinic is in what is described as one of the worst slums in the western hemisphere, and yet I was well cared-for and well-protected. The patients and families for whom I cared were univerally respectful and polite. The NGO practiced extensive and thorough infection control precautions, which were effective. None of my group contracted cholera or experienced any threats to our safety while we were there. But– because I was happy to comply with the safety precautions they recommended– I didn’t get out much.
I worked 13 or 14 hours overnight shifts with a team of dedicated international professionals and a varied group of Haitian staff. (Just like at home: some were excellent, and some just wanted a job.) Here’s the night crew.
More to come.