Arrival in Haiti; Start of a Recovery Mission

Reports from the ground in Haiti

When I got off the airplane in Port-au-Prince, there was a band playing what sounded like New Orleans French Quarter music. That tells you something right there. And it is hot, even by Louisiana standards. I’ll tell you what was hotter – standing in a madhouse group of people trying to collect my checked bag. They just dump it on the floor and you have to scramble for it while fighting through all the other people. The streetside scene near the airport alternated between heavily fortified compounds (UN, US Embassy) and rubble.  Street vendors are everywhere, even selling in what seemed remote stretches of road.  The road itself was mostly gravel, deep ruts and large sections eroded.  I can imagine that come the rains in the next few weeks it will be mud and even more of the roads will be washed away.

The villa where we are staying is possibly the only property in the neighborhood without extensive damage from the earthquake. The outdoor pavilion does have some structural damage, so it has a yellow card (caution).  There are plans to fortify the damaged supports. There is a high wall around the compound, but from the upper rooftops there are fantastic views of Pétion-Ville, the mountains, more mountains, and many different communities.  The wind is blowing up here and hopefully we can tour downtown Port-au-Prince tomorrow.


Author: Chris Oxner, Market Analyst