Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What a difference two days can make

I posted late last evening and went to bed; third row of the airport waiting room seats we have been using. I hadn't been down 10 minutes when a call cam in reporting 30 tons of medicine/medical equipment inbound. We handled that and put it into the pipeline it should be in place by the end of today.

12:30 I lie down again. 6 hours sleep in previous two nights I was beat. Got to sleep and the immigration staffer who is in the receiving facility woke me up. Six people from Islamic relief had just landed. They had a cargo jet with 40 tons of food that had left Dubai but turned around because the could not get a landing slot at PAP.

I put the guys through our system of landing at SDQ, offloading and warehousing via DHL (they are doing this at no cost) and the trucking company that has given us a flat rate of $ 2,000 USD per 40 foot semi delivered to Port-au-Prince airport. Tokk half an hour and they went away with a plan. And very happy to have the thorny problem of PaP landing slot denial solved.

Vegar Skildheim set up this receiving facility on Sunday because there was no organization for moving people and goods north. He is with the United Nations Disaster Assistance and Coordination command. What a guy. Twenty hour days doing this all on his own. Three of us have been here the last 48 hours helping him a bit. This guy always is calm, happy and solves problems. If he ever wants a job I can use him at work.

So we couldn't move a human cargo north in under 24 hours at 6 AM Monday now we are moving tons. As well as lots of humans on the UN aircraft based here; two small jets and a Russian Mil helicopter. Around the clock air operations are running smoothly with a seat prioritization scheme (not officially UN sanctioned but it seems to happen as we plan pretty much all of the time)

So 48 hours have made a real difference.

That's all for today wheels up to Port-au-Prince in about half an hour.



  1. So proud to call you "uncle". Keeping you and the people of Haiti in our thoughts and prayers.
    Love, Lisa, Tom & Caleb

  2. Rick please as possible give us an update on today's aftershock as relates to 1) your personal situation and 2) situation on the ground and 3) situation of your coworkers

  3. Hey Rick,
    Posting a comment, can't find the one I posted at the request of family members this morning, which is strange, so will also email this
    1) how are you and where were you during this morning's quake
    2) how are things on the ground following this quake
    3) how are your peers following it
    Love, mk

  4. Rick - This is a test. Some people having trouble posting, so I am doing some diagnistics. Hang in there. JD

  5. Rick - This is test #2. People have been having trouble posting. JD

  6. Hey Rick-

    Aunt Andree just sent an email letting me know about your blog; I had no idea you were in Haiti. You rock! How do you get to do things like this? (You helped with Katrina, too, right?) Be safe out there.


  7. Thanks eveyone it's going well I am sorry if some of you were worried I just haven't had access to IT the last two days.

    Hey there Lisa Tom and Caleb. Caleb we got spring training in a few weeks buddy.

    Gina I get to do it because of three facts: I have a gift of gab and at Katrina I was able to talk my way into getting official credentials. The most important fact is that I have a wonderful wife who supports me in this activity. She puts up with the stress and anxiety of uncertain contact; worry about my safety and my health and the fact I spend a whole lot of our money doing this.

    This time I have a supportive employer as well. Lucky me all around.


I welcome comments, questions or anything anyone wishes to post on the situation in Haiti.