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Post from Haiti 8/17

Sunday Evening

Temperature today:  92 deg F, feels like 108.

Yesterday we flew from OHare to Miami, then on to Port-au-Prince.  We were not looking forward to arrival at the airport in Haiti.  It tends to be a very hectic experience with lots of hands reaching for your luggage.  If somebody manages to get their hands on it, even briefly, they expect payment.  Yesterday our arrival was different.  We were stopped in Customs and led to a room where we were asked for our passports and luggage checks.  Then we were led to a diplomatic vehicle and moved to another building where we were shown into a lounge and offered drinks.  After a wait, our passports were returned, stamped, with our luggage.  Hatian Senator Maxime Roumer’s chauffeur took us to Maxim’s house for dinner and a pleasant evening of lively discussion and sleep in his guest house.  Not a bad way to enter Haiti.

This morning Maxim’s driver (his driving makes NY cab drives look like old ladies on the way to church) to the airport for the the 45 min flight to Jeremie.  Renate picked us up and brought us to the guest house.  We had some discussion with Renate and Moise, a UNOGA employee who will attend the seminar, about the event.  Then we played Jenga and Qwirkle and all of us think that they will help to promote divergent thinking.  We spent some time sorting out all the materials and packing them for the trip to the university in the morning.  We will be happy to hand some of the materials to the students and not have to carry them further.

In the morning we will get under way.  I think I have some good materials and am excited to get going.  Check in late tomorrow for a report on day one.