Having lived a year in post-earthquake Haiti and shipped 66 boxes worth of passion for Port-au-Prince ahead of our departure, my partner Sara and I, late last night, arrived home in Kentucky with 6 suitcases, 4 carry-ons, and two tired dogs in tow.
And today I am still too whip-lashed by re-entry (too shocked by easy access to electricity) to write much of substance, especially about my Saturday evening talk with Baby Doc, which in itself has left me dizzied with disbelief–clearly, the conversation of a life-time shaded by the half-light of infamy.
However, now that I’m back in the land of easy broadband, I can offer a few photographic highlights of our last days in Haiti:
Though I’m too tired to say much, I will add that, my 45 minute conversation with Baby Doc, would have been the coup of a life-time, were I a journalist in the traditional sense. However, I was granted this access as a “friend of friend” and talked with Jean-Claude Duvalier, not about his recent arrest or allegations of wrong-doing, but about who he is as a man, as a president returned from exile, who sees his country suffering and is saddened by it.
I sat across the table and was stunned by the seeming humanity of an ex-dictator, some say committed crimes against humanity. How could someone supposedly evil actually appear so warm, charming, and, above all else, humble? I expected arrogance and experienced not one drop of it.
Is this man maybe not what the world has judged him to be? Are people capable of change, worthy of redemption?
Whoever Jean-Claude Duvalier is, he’s not what you’d expect.