I landed back in Haiti Tuesday having received a clean bill of health.
I finally triumphed over the mysterious parasite and a few other random infections I apparently acquired during my times in Jacmel.
I also managed, over the past few weeks in Toronto, to add some significant padding to my hip and waist area compared with when I left Haiti a few weeks ago. Needless to say my time at home in was indulgent. The antibiotic annihilation of the parasite meant my appetite expanded beyond chips, crackers and processed cheese. Thus, I gorged.
So did my luggage, it seemed, as I hefted one 63-pound suitcase onto the scale in front of a disapproving Air Canada clerk shortly before 6 a.m. this morning. But we both got what we wanted in the end: She got to swipe my credit card for a healthy $100 overcharge fee and I climbed onto the plane content with knowing that my odd jumble of quasi camping gear, which ranges from battery powered mini-fans to anti-mosquito incense coils, glow sticks and mosquito nets (the sudden need for all of which I'll explain another day) would make it to Haiti.
And we did. By mid-afternoon I was weaving through traffic and rubble-choked Port-au-Prince toward this country's most legendary hotel, the Oloffson
A dinner meeting with the folks from Project Brandaid has given me an excuse to spend my first night in Haiti's capital and at the hotel, which was made famous by author Graham Greene in his book The Comedians.
A 19th century ancient wooden structure rife with intricacies, the hotel nearly defies written description. The best I can do is to say that this place feels like true Haiti - it's old and a bit rough around the edges, but it oozes a certain character and charm. That's in spite of the menacing thunder rumbling beyond the hotel's leafy backdrop as I write this.
Unsurprisingly, the forecast for this week is calling for much rain.