Thursday, January 28, 2010

15 Days in Haiti

I've been getting the usual questions from folks that I know ever since the earthquake happened in Haiti. Are you going down there? Are you working on it? I can usually answer these pretty quickly (#1 -No and #2 - Yes). I have only been on one international trip since I began working in this field (India) and that was right after I moved over to the team exclusively handling disaster response in our organization. I've never shied away from accepting overseas assignments (whether its support or ground work) but I have tried to specialize in domestic work since there was so much potential for our group in doing more in that arena. The rest of my group focuses primarily on international response work so I've been able to wear both hats from time to time.

On Thursday I was asked to make my second trip outside the US. It will be quite different than my trip to India - I have no doubt of that. I was given some latitude to check with my wife before committing to it and I definitely appreciated that since my wife isn't too fond of my extended travels. I know the next few days will be hard for her but I have complete trust in her support and ability to watch our 2 little grown folks while I'm gone.

My assignment on the ground will be working on the logistics side of the response, in particular the transport and distribution of shelter items. I won't be going in alone on this and my involvement in some of the early planning on the stateside piece is helpful as well. Originally this task was going to go to someone else but visa issues have held him up and I'm coming in as a short-term solution. Better to be option B than option D I say.

So what does this mean for this space in the next few weeks? Hard to say. I'd like to think that I can find some time to post daily updates in this space but I expect to be working longer hours (this always seems to happen wherever I travel for work) with limited internet access from time to time. I'm leery of turning this site into a diary of sorts as well (although it can come close to that from time to time depending on the topic I'm dealing with.) Twitter seems like an easier venue for me to deal with right now...but I'm willing to sacrifice a little bit of my sleep and sanity to keep this space current too. My final verdict would be to encourage you to subscribe to the RSS feed for this site and see what happens. I also hope my 2 or 3 regular readers (if I believe the site statistics) will continue to stop by and hit me with a comment or email...

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