|I don't remember where I found this photo, but it's one of my favorites of live revived in PaP|
I can't help but think how different visiting Port-au-Prince for the first time. It will likely be filled with a certain level of confusion and discomfort, but not because of the typical traveler's dilemmas. Instead, it is the first-hand experience of a havoc only read about in the news or heard about second-hand. Some say it's horrible, lamenting the slowness of recovery. Others say it's a beautiful place - and my, how the beaches are lovely! (A Haitian woman told me this, and I smiled. Maybe next time?)
I'm actually tired of using the word 'disaster' because it is a term devoid of hope, although there are few alternative ways to phrase it without resorting to euphemisms. But who knows what my first reaction will be? I asked one of my friends how to mentally prepare. She told me to be ready for some level of shock, but that it would be individual to the person.
So I won't get lost because I will always be with a driver or someone who knows their way around. I might not get to wander the city at night because of a 10pm curfew and safety measures. I will meet other travelers, but not ones who somehow "stumbled upon" the destination but rather those who came knowing they were risking their lives to a certain extent. Will it be overly somber? Exuberant in the resilience? It's hard to say now, with two feet firmly planted on American soil.
I'll let you know tomorrow.