Short post today – heading to the hospital momentarily – I have arrived in Port-au-Prince and have realized that I have the same initial reaction every time I come here. It’s not the smell of the place that hits you first, or the humidity. It’s not the dozens of more than eager porters willing to help you with your bags for a few dollars in return.
No, my initial thought was, what are all these people on this plane from Miami going to do here in Haiti? Twice daily, a large plane lands at the airport, and hundreds of aid workers flood into the city. Every day. Every week.
Are we helping? Are we getting in the way? Are we here out of some sort of moral delusion? I wish I could answer that question. There are lots of opinions – just google ‘Sean Penn Haiti Rolling Stone” and you’ll see what I mean.
I guess all I know is that our work has resulted in a $5 million investment into one of the poorest parts of the city and despite the difficulty of our work, there is a little place on the Delmas Road that is better now than it was before.
The other thing I know is that today is my daughter’s 10th birthday and although I’m several thousand miles away from her, I love her, and I know that it is possible to show a child that you can indeed make a small difference in this complicated world we all live in.