|Some members of MN team at overlook above Port-Au-Prince, Haiti.|
The seventeen members of the Minnesota team of Healing Hands for Haiti arrived in Port-Au-Prince on Saturday morning. It feels so good to be warm again after leaving two new inches of snow in Minneapolis. We stepped off the plane, went through customs without a problem, picked up our thirty duffel bags and totes, and then hit the wall of people waiting to try and help us. Each person is looking to carry a bag for you and hopefully make some money. Fortunately the Healing Hands staff was waiting and guided us through without a hitch.
A government sponsored truck with speakers mounted on it passed while we were leaving the airport. They were broadcasting, at a very loud volume, that a manifestation (demonstration) was planned
for later in the day.
Political demonstrations are an ongoing happening and must be
We made it to the guest house without any problems, unloaded our
bags and then headed into check out the new living quarters.
After orientation we headed out to go shopping and sightseeing.
At the first stop in Fermanthe we shopped and ate at the Baptist
Mission. Two varieties of shopping are available here. The first is
similar to a gift gallery where no pressure is applied and you are
free to browse and purchase at your leisure. The second is outside
on the street where vendors have constructed little buildings that
allow them to display their wares. Negotiation is the key, with the
prices taking a steep dive as we start to head toward the bus to
leave. Many team members made purchases of art, stone statues and
|Port-Au-Prince, Haiti from above looking north.|
We then traveled to a lookout on the top of the mountain overlooking Port-Au-Prince. Additional vendors were located here selling similar art.
A TV relay team was here broadcasting the signal being beamed from cameras filming the demonstration that had started. It was very interesting to watch this unfold from above. The protesters were pro president Aristide and were heading from one part of the city to the presidential palace in downtown Port-Au-Prince. After sightseeing we headed back to the guest house for a delicious dinner prepared by the house staff. The evening finished with people playing cribbage and relaxing around the pool.
Sunday will be a quiet day spent unpacking and preparing for
clinic to start on Monday. We will travel to the Hotel Montana for
the evening meal. This hotel is beautiful and the home to many
tourists and business people visiting Haiti.
My next report will be after our first day of Mondays
Al Ingersoll, Certified Prosthetist
MN Healing Hands of Haiti team leader