Monday, January 10, 2011

Landing like Giraffes; Port au-Prince to HInche

Saturday, Jan 8, 2011
Port au Prince

Giraffe mothers give birth while they are standing up. Their newborn baby giraffe lands hard, in the dust, with a thump. While it's a bit of a shock to watch on video, I think it's not so's nature's way of saying "Ok, welcome to the planet! There's a lot going on here, including lions...get moving!"

So,our plane from Miami landed in cross-wind with a big, hard THUMP....a classic "Welcome to Haiti", and I thought of the giraffes. There's a lot going on here, and it's not for the faint of heart. Let's get moving! We spent a lovely overnight in Port au Prince, and then did businesss in Pap for half of Saturday, then headed for
the hills....our home in the Central Plateau, in Hinche.

I have sluggish, limited internet here, so must write a very brief blog to minimize the upload time. Here are a few images:

How can it be that after a several nights of poor sleep in the US, a too-busy brain, an all-night birth, and pre-flight packing....I spent a night in a Port-au-Prince guest-house room with 5 others, in bunks, under a mosquito net...and slept like the dead for 8 hours?? I am refreshed in this setting, maybe because so much is going on, I'm forced to be in the moment and be single-minded.

Saturday, in one morning, we drove past acres of tent cities, and ended up shopping for furniture in an air-conditioned showroom. That's Port au Prince. It's so hard. We are growing a non-profit here, and now have a house for our teachers and volunteers to stay in.. we need beds, tables and chairs to sit at, eat, teach students. But while I shop, I wish everyone in the city had housing and decent water.

Smells--- STRONG coffeee, garlic, gasoline exhaust, sewage, woodsmoke, body odor, and that unique whiff of bad teeth.

Sounds: oh, the roosters. They start at 3:30am. Cars and truck engines. Sirens. Singing.

While waiting for some team members at the airport, the busiest outdoor vendor at the airport parking lot was...the guy selling beer and little half-pint bottles of whiskey. He was doing a big business out of a little cooler under a tree. Stress relief with alcohol is universal.

A trip from PaP to Hinche was a car-sickness extravaganza with all the curves in the road and the mountains we go up, then down. They get greener as we go , and the donkeys and goats appear more with each mile out of the city. The lakes are's great, if you don't need to hurl. Fortunately this time, that was me! No nausea.
We landed in Hinche by dusk.

We are posting a video if we can, and we midwife/giraffes, who hit the dirt on Saturday, are doing ok in Hinche....updates soon!

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