Voyages & Découvertes

Haiti After - Day 1

Wednesday 17 February 2010 by Pinat Pierre

All along this strange return trip to Saint Domiugue, my MP3 gadget , a broken heart and heavy feeling were my companions.
A sentiment of sorrows, a deep calm, cloud over the ocean and finally a chaotic situation at “Las Americas” international airport.

The aircraft was full, in majority with humanitarian workers and medical emergency supplies. All those who could not land at Port-Au-Prince were directed here.

I am one of those.
There are French, European NGO’s as well. I am even attracted by a group of youngsters bearing the effigy of South Africa, All with smiles, white Helmets stuck to their bags. I wish to tell them: “you must be very careful…”.

My workmate S. is not at the rendez-vous. Nobody has come here to welcome me today. I can’t contact my Haitian friend J. No telephone no internet.

Shit! Things are getting complicated but I will manage.
I stopped a taxi (which obviously will charge me exorbitant fares) and we proceeded to the centre of town. The driver consented helping me find a hotel room for the night.

With high speed, window pane down, the scent of cut grass was blowing mixed with fresh air from the outside.
I feel strange here when just few hours ago back home, it was winter time.

I am back to Santo Domingo, a city which strangely reminds me Montevideo. I am very delighted to communicate in Spanish precisely in this kind of situation.

The driver told me that the earthquake in Haiti was feet here 370 kilometres away from the epicentre. He thinks that time has come for the Dominican republic and Haiti to strengthen their ties in this difficult period.
Following 2 attempts (the influx of tourists coupled with the prevailing situation create room shortage), I was fortunate to drop my suit case in a room for 80 USD a night.

I finally contact S. Some obvious reasons could not permit her to show up. She earlier sent me an E-mail that could not reach.

No problem, we will see tomorrow. For now, I want to sleep.


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