Return to Haiti

haiti-001The flight from Boston to Miami was uneventful. I had my usual exit row window seat, 18F.  Next to me was a geeky young blond guy who nodded in greeting before donning headphones for the duration.

I boarded the flight to Port-au-Prince early; after so many trips here I’ve earned Priority Access. I settled into my same exit row seat.  A stocky guy with a trio of small bags dumped his stuff onto the middle seat and pointed to his boarding pass. I tried to explain the difference between seats D and E.  I suggested he use the overhead for some of his belongings, which prompted him to stand in the aisle and repack everything. An even bigger guy bumped behind him.  They jabbed their boarding passes at one another until deciding the bigger guy would take the middle. More housekeeping ensued as stuff got tossed in the aisle seat and the overhead with no apparent logic.

My neighbor settled in with a smile, a firm handshake and a litany of questions.  He seemed disappointed it was not my first trip to Haiti, he wanted to guide me into his native land, but accepted my seasoned traveller status when I explained my involvement with the orphanage and school in Grand Goave.  The guy builds tennis courts in Fort Lauderdale and returns to Haiti every month to visit his wife and young children.

The flight attendant stopped by to quiz us on the operation of the emergency door.  I half listened and nodded understanding.  But my neighbor engaged her. “ I can open that door but we will not have to, we will have no problems on this trip.”  She smiled, bemused, and moved on.  He turned to me and whispered, “Nothing can go wrong with you on the plane. God will watch over and bless us because of your good work.”

Before we are even off the ground in Miami Haiti’s chaos and magic shine through.

About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog,, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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