Sunday, May 3, 2009

On Traveling to Haiti and other related things #8

While the airport at Port au Prince is unique, the airport in Cayes is quant, almost charming.

It’s my favorite airport of the three I have visited in Haiti. It too is very small but not nearly as busy as the Port au Prince airport. It’s a small cinderblock building painted pistachio green. Inside the floors are beautifully tiled and there is ironwork in place of glass in the windows. Opposite the window wall are the bathrooms and an office as well as the ticket counter and baggage claim. There is only a partial wall surrounding the office and I have never seen anyone sitting in the office, but there is a desk and chair there and it looks official. So someone must sit there, sometimes. The ticket counter is small and the baggage claim consists of something like a half door where someone stands and a half of a half wall that separates that person from the other side where the bags are placed. There are two doors at the back of the building that are always open. One is for arriving flights, the other for departing flights. Sometimes the metal detector is at the back door and you pass through it only just before you enter the plane. At other times it is at the front door. When a plane is ready to take off the plane taxis maybe 10 feet, turns left and taxis down to the end of the runway. It turns around and is then takes off down the very same runway until it lifts into the air. A very similar process occurs when a plane is landing. There is something comforting to me about that place.

Perhaps because it is the place of familiarity; the expectation of familiar faces waiting to greet me. Billy and Debbie and Savannah and McKenna were, as expected, waiting for me when I arrived.

I’m not sure why but I have a special place in my heart for the Cayes Airport. This time, it was the most familiar thing I had known all day. It felt good to be home.

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