I always find it amazing how after just a few hours in an airplane, a person can arrive in a place so fundamentally different than where they left. And my, Haiti is different from Canada in so many ways. The first thing I noticed is of course the heat, 30 degrees outside. It felt good after our cold weather. Then there is the riot of sounds and colours, and all the people. We were greeted in the airport by musicians, what a wonderful way to arrive in a new country! There is colour everywhere, especially in clothing, making Canada look drab in comparison. There is what appears to us to be chaos, with cars, trucks, motorcycles, and pedestrians all weaving their way like some sort of symphony of movement. It made me very glad I was not driving. Hard to believe this was a quiet day because many people were watching a soccer game.
It was a long ride from the airport to the hotel, with much of the route along where we traveled on our last visit two years ago. I was really struck by how much better everything looked. The tent cities around the airport are gone, the roads, buildings walls are in much better shape, there is even evidence of new signs and new construction. It was a very welcome site compared with the damage we saw two years ago. Even the people in the airport were quite different this time – it was as if they were less stressed and more at ease. The question I am asked most often is how Haiti is doing in recovering from the earthquake. I can now provide a much more positive answer – things are looking so much better than two years ago. But of course there are still major problems. In particular, violent crimes are still common. But it great to see such positive progress.
We arrived at our hotel and had supper on a deck looking out over the city. It was a beautiful evening, warm with a nice breeze. A wonderful way to end our first day in Haiti.
View from deck where we had supper.
Tomorrow we visit the World Vision National Office then travel to Hinche in the central plateau.