Friday, March 5, 2010
I am on a flight from the west to the east coast of the US with a colleague from RedR (Ivan), where we have half a night in a hotel before heading on to Santa Domingo tomorrow. In the last 4 days I have travelled three quarters of the way around the globe (from India) and, as Ivan recently pointed out, I will have been in the air for 65 hours in 6 days by the time we reach our final destination, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
In some semblance of preperation, I've been watching BBC world service earthquake stories since January, I've read all the notes provided in our kit from the UN World Food Program and from RedR in Melbourne, but even with all the information available, I still have only the vaguest idea of how it will feel when I hit the ground there. I would be lieing if I said I'm not nervous. This is both mine and Ivan's first deployment into a real disaster situation, on the one hand it is incredibly exciting, but on the other, quite daunting. From a technical point of view, I am confident in my abilities to get on top of most engineering tasks given to me, for this I can fall back on my experience. Also, we have been told that the accomodation is going to be quite basic (mainly tents with shared facilities, little privacy, etc.), but the working conditions do not seem to worry me to much either. What is actually playing on my mind most as we draw closer to the epicentre of the destruction, is what my own reaction to the human suffering will be. And will I be able to perform my role effectively in the face of it?
In any case, all this and more will be revealed in the next blog post (I'll try to post, but no promises for the next few weeks at least), for now here is a photo of me fullfilling a retrospective life goal (which I made once I saw the life saving tower on venice beach), I.e. to get my photo taken next to a beautiful girl on the set of Baywatch. Tick.
PS. Said beautiful girl is a friend of Ivan's who was kind enough to take us on a tour of LA on our stop over. Thanks Elly!!
Posted by Hugh at 4:14 AM