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Monday, December 28, 2009


I arrived in Port-au-Prince this afternoon on time after almost missing my connection in O'Hare because American Airlines can never seem to run the flight from Madison on time. I'm at the front of the plane on the flight from Miami, and I zip through immigration and customs at Port-au-Prince and am out of the airport before the people from Matthew 25 arrive to pick me up. A redcap has a Matthew 25 badge and calls a car that just pulls up to tell him that I'm here. I expect a Sister to pick me up, but instead a man is driving the car. We take off on the airport road but it is blocked with heavy traffic, so we turn down very bumpy back streets. I wonder if this is an elaborate rouse to kidnap, rob, and kill me. How hard would it be to print up a badge and call someone who pretends to be from the place where I am staying? They would run scams like that in Africa; would that do that in Haiti? But Lonely Planet doesn't mention these types of scams. Am I too naive and trusting, or too skeptical and cynical about people's intentions?

Arriving in Haiti feels like I'm back in Ghana, except that Brazilian soldiers from the UN peacekeeper mission are crawling all over the airport. Going from Ghana's hot, humid tropical weather to Wisconsin's freezing cold winter, and back to Haiti's hot, humid tropical summer is a nasty shock to my system.

With my arrival in Haiti, I now have only one country in Latin America left to visit: the Dominican Republic, on the other side of this island of Hispaniola. I hope to visit at some point, but not this trip. And with that introduction and my arrival our delegation is complete and it's time to get to work! Tomorrow we're going to Cite Soleil to investigate reports of a UN peacekeeper mission massacre.

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