Seven hours ago

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We left Port-au-Prince seven hours ago. Now once again finishing up the cross-island trip from Haiti to the Dominican Republic.

Seven hours to think about what we saw, smelled; seven hours for our tears.

Without thinking we rub sanitizer well into our hands. We wonder at the strangeness of Haiti, 3 weeks post-quake. Strange because the streets look like they always have except the growing piles of tangled re-bar and rubble along the curbs.

Strange because the ladies are back selling tangerines and radio antennas along the road. The man with 20 hats on his head stand ready to sell at the intersection. But 20 feet behind them the 3rd floor of an apartment building is sitting at eye level, the lower two-stories reduced to 2 ribbons of what were balconies.

We drove up the street for subways and strangely they have them. Stranger still because around the corner everyone scurries past the flattened supermarket covering their noses with shirt tails.

Strange as we sat for 4 hours with pastors trying to imagine the future: houses that wouldn't crush children who even now need to play, their laughter making the surreal normal.
We argued and laughed, cried and convinced each other. We have to rebuild houses, schools and churches, but it would be foolish to rebuild now. We must create jobs, we must serve those beyond the family of faith, we must follow Haitian leadership; we must and we will.

The meeting ended and the pastors left to sleep on concrete, again.

Everything is a Dali painting-normal splashed on strange.

I stared at one of the tent cities, a kaleidoscope of sheets, tarps and random fabric tied together. Without latrines or water, thousands of people living from meal to meal. A fluttering in the sky caught my eye. A crude kite struggled for air. It purchased some altitude, slipped, then caught its breath.

Above the crazy randomness of hopelessness the kite drifted on the Caribbean breeze. I traced the string down to two boys, barefoot and filthy, eyes trained upward. The string danced through their fingers, tied off on an plastic coke bottle so it couldn't escape them.

Life lived by survivors. Futures planned by the fortunate. Kites every one.
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