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Welcome to Port-au-Prince! Day 1

October 11, 2010

Woke up at 5am and crept quietly out of Sam’s apartment in NYC.

Subway to Airtrain to JFK and I was ready for my 9am flight.

4 hours later, I’m in Port-au-Prince where it’s a million degrees. The airport was damaged by the earthquake, so as soon as you arrive, you are whisked past the band playing welcome music onto a shuttle that takes you to customs. Easiest customs process ever which was great because it was blazing hot in the hanger.

Then you’re outside where cab drivers are offering you rides, use of their cell phones, etc. It’s organizaed chaos. I found the spot to wait for Waner. After waiting for a bit, I finally gave in to an older cab driver’s offer of a phone and was able to connect with Waner and Paster Moise.

They took me on a whirlwind trip up the mountain to Port-au-Prince. It’s amazing that there is so much destruction. Buildings that are perfectly fine next to homes that are now rubble and tent cities everywhere. Amid all the dust and crumbled buildings, you see these little kids in perfectly pressed uniforms. Girls with frilly little socks. They go to school and then walk home holding their parent’s hand to their tent city.

They took me past the presidential palace, once the most beautiful part of Port-au-Prince. It is still in ruins. A fence surrounds it with photos of the 18 people running for president. Across the street, the Haiti people live in tents.

My hotel is like a tropical paradise in comparison or perhaps a tropical fortress. Very well guarded. Everyone has been super friendly here. And I even get CNN.

Waner picks me up at 9:30am tomorrow and we will visit orphanages and find a place to work for the week.

Not sure what the business center hours are at the hotel, but will try to keep this updated.

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