Santo Domingo is quite far

This has been written on 24th of January 2010.

After a long journey we arrived in Santo Domingo last Wednesday. In the end this was certainly the right decision, because we could not really preview what was going to happen in Hinche. By now as far as I am informed things remained calm, but I do not have real informations about the food situation and the hospital.
We are here in a small hotel, actually a nice place with a view to the Caribbean Sea. I wanted to write earlier but in a way it did not really work out. I think I felt somewhat strange the last days. Coming to Haiti and leaving when help is really needed. Though I do not want to contradict myself.
The trip to Dominican Republic began with an UN escort till the frontier. We were quite lucky because due to our commitments in Hinche and the ugly roads we arrived late at the checkpoint where another escort should replace the first one. So it was already gone two hours ago and more or less by conincidence we saw another one driving to the frontier. They did not recognize us although their colleagues had tried to inform them thus we had to chase an UN vehicle. Rather strange feeling, but after 10 minutes we catched up und talked to them, then everything was ok. Arriving at the frontier some problems raised up, because it was night and we could not have our stamps and the necessary papers for the cars anymore. So we had to stay in a hotel and follow up the next day (Wednesday). In the evening we finally arrived in Santo Domingo, quite a European style city and in my view a very sharp contrast to what I had lived the weeks before. We met all colleagues (who had arrived earlier) and had several meetings on the situation. It was at this point only I had the impression of having completed my whole impression of what had happened more than a week before. I hope you may forgive me not telling more about that at this point but I am not really in the mood to do so. This is for a future moment. We spoke about what to do now as well and there were several interesting point, where I could engage myself, too. After a rather embarassing story with a newspaper from Cologne (Koelner Stadtanzeiger) which did not manage to quote me properly there had been some problems about that. Further I was quite disappointed, because I thought this was a serious institution. Now I might work for my colleagues here, in Haiti and Germany concerning press issues. And I promise, if I will, I am going to try to do some things better. By the way, the first one is done: I am not in the country for the moment, thus I am not eating the food of helpers and victims. The second might be do give a more appropriate image of Haitin than most of the huge stations that sent their personnel to give coverage of thrilling issues like pillages and violence. As far as I am informed now, there has not been ONE pillage. Let me draw a definition: I am using the word pillage as an voluntary act to rob material value in an illegal way in order to create a profit, if necessary with violent means. So far… Now to Port-au-Prince: I have been reported from secure sources that all of the so-called pillages of supermarkets and such taken place since the earthquake were designed to get at least some food out of mainly ruined establishments. This is not what I previously defined as a pillage, because then you would have to define pure survival as creation of profit. I never heard someone say that. But this shall just be an example and a warning not to rely to much on media.

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