Waking yesterday at 2:30am after five hours of sleep, I showered, kissed Paula, and dragged my five bags to the lobby, tram, and gate. Gotta love the 2 hour recommendation for international travel. I had more than an hour to spare, as usual. The coffee place hadn’t opened yet, so I sat in a caffeineless trance for half an hour, looking at all the empty seats around me.

On the plane to Miami, I talked with a man going to Columbia who has a textile business there. I showed him Etoys and talked about Waveplace. There’s someone he’d like me to talk to. We swapped cards.

In Miami with a three hour layover, I blogged and fixed some snafus on the Wavepace website. At the gate, I met Beth for the first time. I then sent an announcement to everybody I knew: we’re on the way to Haiti, follow along on our blog. Welcome to those reading along!

Beth and I managed to sit together on the plane, where we talked about Haiti history and the pilot plan. We landed at Port-Au-Prince airport with a huge bump, which made everyone on the plane laugh out loud. Walking through customs, we saw many other aid groups, and decided we really missed our opportunity to wear Waveplace tee-shirts. The bags were essentially tossed with a huge heave-ho through a door. Luckily my two bags were too heavy to get much air time, so I think damage was at least minimized.

Outside, we met Bill and many Haitian men who offered to drive or carry for us, though finally we saw John’s smiling face outside the gate. Getting the bags to his car was precarious, but the drive up the mountain to his house was relaxed and air-conditioned.

Port-au-Prince is of course different from my last visit thirty years ago. The most noticeable difference are the clothes and the relative lack of huge baskets on everyone’s heads, though we did see some of this. John assures me it’s still common in the countryside.

At John’s beautiful house, we met his wonderful wife Merline and his two children Leila and Daniel. Merline cooked pumpkin soup, which was delicious. A medical team was also staying at John’s house. The ten of us talked well into the night, then thankfully collapsed straight to sleep, amazed to be in Haiti amongst such good friends.

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