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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Journal Excerpt: Tuesday, April 7

The flights from Santiago to Panama and Panama to Haiti were uneventful; I sat next to a married couple on the former and two Haitian young women on the latter. Ironically, two [separate] flight attendants offered me the chance to move to an empty row on the Haiti flight. This happened last time [in September] too. I can't decide if they think I would prefer not to sit with Haitians or that the Haitians would prefer not to sit with me? Either way, by remaining where I was I seemed to gain the respect of my seatmates and we chatted a little bit along the way.

There is something very unique about flying to Haiti. It's more than just being one of only a handful of white people on board. It is more about the camaraderie among the Haitian people, chatting with each other and calling out to one another across the rows. It's also the clasped or raised hands upon arrival and the quiet murmur of "Ayiti, Ayiti" from the man beside me - a sigh of relief to be home in this land that is so different from others.

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