Back in Port-au-Prince!

Today Sanctuary's first Haiti team arrived in Port-au-Prince! The team is tired, but we are holding up well. Today we woke up at 4:30 AM in a hotel in Miami (after about 2 1/2 hours of sleep) and boarded a shuttle to the airport at 5:00. Our  flight departed at 7:00 and brought us to PAP at a little after 8:00. By about 9:00, we were at Maison de Lumiere!

This is the first time I have been here since spending a few weeks here shortly after the earthquake in January 2010. I have been eagerly anticipating this trip!

Some of the highlights of the day for me were:
  • Seeing Isguerda! Our sponsor girl came in the truck to the airport to pick us up. What a happy reunion we had! 
  • Many other very happy reunions with kids from the boys' and girls' homes, Bill and Susette Manassero, Markenson, Fritz, Marlval, Monice, Jeanette, Navi, Ashley Hapak, Matt Littles, Cindy Ahrentzon, and others.
  • Watching my teammates from Sanctuary explore Maison de Lumiere and start meeting the kids.
  • Joining the older boys to watch the inauguration of Michel Martelly, Haiti's new president, on television. From people at the airport to the older kids at the orphanage, Haitians seem to be very optimistic about their new leader. They see him as a strong leader and a man of the people.
I must also mention that it really struck me, riding here from the airport, how much cleaning up and rebuilding has been done since I was here last. I had thought that the downed buildings would be here for decades to come. And to some extent that might be true. But what I saw today is that much of the rubble has been cleaned up -- at the least, neatly stacked or piled. A lot of buildings show signs of new construction and/or repair. Surely there is an enormous task ahead, but the Haitian people are not sitting idly by and waiting for someone else to do the work. They are reclaiming their capital city one small repair project at a time. It proves once again that Haitians are some of the most resilient people on the planet.

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