I've returned from what must have been a solid week on the road that involved travel to South Florida, a flight out to Kansas through DFW, driving through major snow on Kansas roadways back to the KC airport, flight back to South Florida via DFW, and then a welcomed and leisurely seven-hour drive back home to Tallahassee.
Readers of this blog may remember me briefly discussing my contemplation of efforts to get involved with an organization trying to help Haiti move forward. Well, that's been done via a start-up. Thus the trip to Kansas. One highlight among many: we saw a fascinating presentation revolving around extrusion technology that has the potential to seriously impact malnutrition in Haiti.
But. Kansas in January?
Oh my goodness was it cold (eight degrees on the morning of our departure). On the drive into Kansas, my brain literally started sending signals to my entire body: prepare to hibernate, hibernate, hibernate. Must hibernate! Bundle up!
But our host family was warm and couldn't have been more gracious to us. That helped.
Still, this was the scene that greeted us at our hosts' home. I call it "Beyond Sabetha" as this could have been the theme for our visit, focused as it was on Haiti:
Sabetha had a certain charm to it (trust me, it truly did), and -- covered in a serious blanket of snow -- the white stuff probably transformed the winter landscape. The snow was quite dry and danced across the roadway when the wind blew. Luckily, the wind didn't really blow until Saturday night on our way to a fantastic steak place (the Country Cabin) in Hiawatha, Kansas. My 18 ounce prime rib, as I had been assured, was absolutely outstanding.
Why Kansas in January? Because we are endeavoring to implement an agricultural and economic development strategy in Haiti that actually moves the needle, so to speak. Something practical and away from Port-au-Prince. Something that isn't primarily governmental but private sector.
I'll close with a photo of one of my best friends. He's a driving force behind our efforts and a proud Haitian who aches to try and improve conditions in the land of his birth. I love this photo; it seems to capture so much. But, what can you do with a Black Man in the snow . . . hmmmm?
Trust me when I tell you this, we didn't stay out in the snow for long. No sir, buddy! I was just happy to not get crushed with a snowball.
Please wish us Godspeed and good fortune. Haiti needs it.