I am back in Haiti…and I am blown away by the changes since I was last here in May of 2011. Almost ALL of the rubble and collapsed buildings have been cleared. One of the ex-pats told me tonight that apparently some kind of UN contract that had been delayed finally came through…and the UN promptly zoomed around with a bunch of gigantic dump trucks and cleared everything right up. Ah, world politics. And, mosquitos. In fact, one is eating me right now. Ah, Haiti. Hello, Haiti!
It’s Carnival time here in Haiti. There was an amazing-sounding band playing a block away from the residence today, and you could hear the brass instruments crystal clear, and the drums and the partying, just like they transported over from a street in New Orleans. Shops are open, there are internet cafes, restaurants…I even drove by a dry cleaners here in Leogane, shortly after seeing a kid walking down the street with dry cleaning he had picked up. For the other volunteers who have been here…think about that…people picking up dry cleaning and walking down the street like normal, here in Leogane! The tents that were lining the road to the field hospital are all completely gone, and the whole area is now a green field with cows. And, sometimes cows in the road. We almost tripped over one tonight in the dark walking to salsa night. A moment of hilarity followed, imagining how we might relate that story to friends and family back home…how were you injured in Haiti!? Crime? Accident? Disease!? No, I tripped over a cow.
Oh, and someone apparently stole the field hospital. Yeah, don’t ask. I don’t get it either.
On more positive note, I shot a great video of a motorcycle ride today! I mean, it’s awesome. Carrie is trying to make me promise not to put it on youtube, because she didn’t know I was filming, and thinks she doesn’t look quite as modelly (new word) as she usually does. I think she looks awesome giggling and smiling on candid camera as we zoom through Leogane. You be the judge. Coming soon to youtube!
To sign off for tonight, here is my happy thought for the day. The Filariasis program has done amazing work here. Nice work Bill Gates! (I mentioned to one of the new guys here that Bill Gates built the house we are staying in, and he looked at me like I was crazy until I filled in the details). Right, so…Gates Foundation. Anywho, it really blows your mind (yet again), or brings a tear to your eye…or, both, to think about the fact that as you drive around Leogane, you are looking at hundreds and hundreds of people who have not gotten Filariasis and are not suffering – and don’t even know it, all because of the project.