Thursday, 18 August 2011

Coming back to Haiti, coming back to life

After a long intermission we declare this Blog „alive“ again. The first impressions after coming back to Haiti...

I have been out of Haiti for more than five weeks and it felt good to arrive at Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince again. Upper-class Haitians in exclusive outfits, international helpers in functional wear and missionaries in mission-shirts searching for their bags in a lively, loud and chaotic atmosphere. I have seen the procedure before, and was not as surprised as in November 2010 when I arrived here for the first time.

An incredibly resistant layer of dust seemed to find it‘s way directly from my room into my lungs.

Three hours later, in estimated 40 degrees Celsius (I was coming from Austria, where I woke up with 13 degrees the day before), trying to clean my room from an incredibly resistant layer of dust, the joy of being back felt somehow lessened.

Only a few days later we heard that tropical storm Emily was moving straight towards Port-au-Prince. Necessary measures were taken, children who lived in the temporary shelters moved to the school for two nights. Strong winds cooled the air down and all bureaucratic procedures were in pause, once again. In the end Emily changed direction and all the area of Port-au-Prince, where thousands still live in tents and temporary shelters, was much less affected than predicted.

SOS children currently living in the temporary shelters were moved to the school with their families, as Emily was predicted to affect the zone of Port-au-Prince.

Now, some days have passed by and I‘m getting back to routine. Some things have changed, other‘s did not. School is on holidays, for instance, and there are less children around than usually. But it‘s still hot, as I mentioned, and things are still more complicated than you‘d expect them to be.
Some things changed during the past weeks, others did not: Hermann Gmeiner school is on holidays, but the social centre is still open.
What I wanted to say to the readers: this blog may be presumed dead, but it will come back to life. In Haiti, the home of zombies, we are in the right place for resurrection, I suppose.