Tuesday, June 8

Back in Haiti

Currently sitting in the team house in Petionville.  The rain is pouring down outside and the lightening has been crashing round the house.  It is probably good not to be in a tent.

It seemed to take a long time to get to Haiti.  I left 10am Friday and arrived here 9am (3pm UK time)  Saturday.  I did have an overnight in Miami but it was good to finally arrive.  Flying straight into Port au Prince you get off the plane through the one tunnel into the airport building, go down a quite smart arrival tunnel, like any airport in the world but as you go down the escalator, where you would turn into the arrivals hall, you go out of the building, catch a bus across to the American Airlines cargo hall and enter the bedlam that is customs
and baggage reclaim.  The driver had forgotten to pick me up so had to wait around for about an hour before I finally set off.  Two of the drivers that I knew came to pick me up and it was lovely to be greeted by big smiles and welcomes and them saying how good it was to see me back.

The rubble in Port au Prince is in even bigger piles.  Some buildings that had to be demolished have been taken apart, manually, with pick axes and now lie in huge piles of debris ready for the sites to be cleared.  I saw today one site, that I had previously seen as a spontaneous camp with many tents, now just one  enormous pile of rubble.  Where it will all go to eventually, or when, I have no idea. Some people have now gone back to their homes but there are still many living in the camps.  There have been some evictions from private land.

The life here for the team now is very different from when I was here before.  It is very surreal to be in a house, but see the same items that we had in the camp, the storage boxes, plastic bowls, water filter etc now in very different surroundings.  In some ways it makes me feel very uncomfortable to be in such different surroundings, so removed now from those who are still living in tents, but necessary for the health and safety of staff.  I've been having briefings on HR, finance, security and then logs tomorrow.  I'm hoping to leave for the programme site in Leogane tomorrow (Monday) lunchtime.  I have to come back to Port au Prince for 2 days of security training for NGO staff on Thursday and Friday.  I think I will feel more comfortable at the
programme site, where I will be based, and am looking forward to seeing the programme staff and advisors again.  Lots of work to do and a number of issues to resolve.

Went to church today, where we camped previously.  Saw a number of people who I had known previously and caught up a bit with their news.  Looking forward to more catching up tomorrow

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