arriving in Haiti

Finally got back from the hospital at a decent hour to do some blogging.  So here goes.

I arrived in Port-au-Prince on Friday afternoon.  By the time the flight arrived in PAP, it was already 4:30pm.  As we were approaching the airport, dark thunderclouds appeared over the capital – typical for the rainy season in Haiti.  After landing, there is the usual trip through customs and then baggage claim – which oddly enough takes less time than it does in the States (the airport isn’t very big here).  I will fully admit that baggage claim in PAP is probably one of the few times that I feel completely out of place.  A 6’3″ ginger standing waiting for luggage surrounded by Haitians as well as “aid workers” from the United States in their matching T-shirts.  I stuck out like a sore thumb.  It’s somewhat amusing.

After getting luggage and going through customs again, the next tricky step is finding the driver for Nos Petits Freres et Soeurs, Max.  There are two problems: one – Max does not speak English and two – I don’t have a Haitian cell phone.  Now picture a 6’3″ ginger standing outside of the PAP airport, in a light rain, surrounded by “enterprising” Haitians who are offering taxi rides and who will help you find Max… for a $5 tip.  While you wait for them to find Max, various others approach you with little trinkets.  For the first time in Haiti, I had my American background thrown in my face; when I didn’t want a bracelet from one of the men peddling his wares, I was told that since I was American I should be able to afford it anyway.

Eventually Max arrived, and drove me to Villa Francesca – the St Luke’s “compound” for volunteers.  Most of the activity at the hospital winds down by 5pm so it was a little late to be traveling over to check things out.  Turned in early after eating dinner in order to get an early start the next day.

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About justgngr

the ramblings of a medical professional by day, judgmental ginger by night
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