Haiti: A Different Arrival
Today. I arrived. In Port au Prince. For the second time. Since the earthquake. This time. Someone checked my passport.
In mid-February. There were no commercial flights. So I flew. From the Dominican Republic. On a free flight. On a small plane. With the U.N. Humanitarian Air Service.
We landed at the U.N. Logistics Base. Which shares a runway. With the regular airport. I walked off the plane. And into a broken Haiti. No one. Looked at my passport.
This time. I flew American Airlines. Seven seats across. We landed. Pulled up to the jet bridge. And I thought. They were using the airport again. But I was wrong. From the jet bridge. We went to a bus. And drove past the cracked walls. And windows. Of the airport. To a new building. A small building. With a concrete floor and corrugated tin roof. That was set up for immigration. Baggage claim. And customs. Cans of food. Roll off the lurching, snaking baggage carousel. Escaped. From suitcases. Boxes. And backpacks.
There is nothing more delicious. Than exiting an airport. And hearing your name. Shouted. By a familiar voice. I hop. Into the black car. Throwing. My luggage. Into the back seat. Looking out the windows. To see what has changed. In the last four months.
And. I see. That very, very little. Has changed.