…I somehow felt at home again in the chaotic jumble of Haitian traffic, playing chicken with huge trucks and bathtub size potholes, dodging motorcycles and pedestrians without worry. Up and up I went, using my intermittent iPhone data roaming to use Google Maps to find the Hotel Montana, where I parked, walked up to the restaurant level, and took in the view.
Looking down on Port-au-Prince from this wraparound view, as though I were looking at Los Angeles and not Cité Soleil and Delmas, I felt keenly the inequity of most NGOs (staying up here) and who they serve (the people unseen down below). Within minutes I met Truncano from the World Bank and another gentleman from Microsoft. “What do you do?” and so it starts. Within seconds of sitting down after a full day of travel, I’m in sales mode giving people the well-worn rap. I take a break to switch into my business suit and score a win by asking IDB to let me leave the courseware workshop invitations on the registration table for participants to take on their own. Then people start arriving.
I’ll talk about who I met and what was said in the next post. President Martelly didn’t make it for his keynote, which made a few people upset, but not me. It gave me more time to mingle, which is really why I was there. One delightful bonus was a few dozen children with XOs from the IDB/MOE pilot. After three years, I actually got to see some of the infamous 13,700 laptops with children using them. A few older boys were using Etoys in non-trivial ways, which was wonderful to see. Anyway, a great night.
By Tim F.