There have been a couple delays to the installation schedule, which had a soporific effect on the blog. The delays came in two broad strokes, most of which was out of any one person’s control, none of which was specifically anticipated, and all of which is par for the course given the context:
1) Getting the clinic cleared through USAID takes a variable – but almost certainly considerable – amount of time. Because Haiti has entered hurricane season there’s been an influx of aid to the country, and a good deal of it is consigned to USAID. All the shipping documents, which – we learned the hard way – have to be originals, shift through many offices and get stuck in a fair amount of bureaucratic gook before they’re cleared by the Haitian government. Far from the break-neck speed with which we thought we’d clear customs, this has truly been a marathon. The clinic *may* get cleared for delivery later this week, but USAID, the US embassy, and the Haitian customs office are all backed up, and meanwhile, our containers continue to make their unmodified peers feel inadequate:
2) Until the end of last week, even if the clinic had cleared, the site wouldn’t have been ready to receive it. So robust is the NGO support for Grace Children’s Hospital that we too suffer the coordination-snafus plaguing the general aid effort in Port-au-Prince. It took the better part of my last two weeks in Port-au-Prince to get all parties on board to our vision for the site layout and preparation. Then there were the added challenges of scarce resources, which [ironically?] includes the “rubble” (the engineers’ word, not mine) with which we’re leveling the land.
Now the land is prepped, the NGO environment mapped, and once the clinic gets the green light from USAID/US Embassy/Haitian customs, it’s full steam ahead…”full steam,” of course, calibrated for a Port-au-Prince speedometer.