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Heading Back to Haiti
In light of Mark's tragic and unexpected death, it is difficult for me to focus on anything else, but I really need to get my crap together in the next 12 hours.
It seems our work in Haiti is not complete. I got a phone call from Craig Arnold last week inviting Mathieu and I to return for a special mission. Craig was the logistics officer for the Salvation Army who helped us (tremendously) last time and was a primary factor in finding ways to get us food to give to the orphanages.
I will be heading to Port-Au-Prince from Maui tomorrow afternoon, arriving in Haiti on Saturday and meeting up with Matthieu later that afternoon. Toby Roybal is also back on board as our "operator" and there may be some opportunities for others to help in similar ways as last time. If this interests you, please leave a note in the comment box below.
It is very difficult for me not to say what is going down, but as we complete our objectives, I will be able to talk about it more, and hopefully post the day's events and images. A few things I can say, is that this is "unofficial" - I do not think any NGO in their right mind would sponsor us officially for what we are about to do, but ironically, that very thing will allow us to get it done faster and more efficiently.
In some ways it will be more dangerous than last time, and in others, it will be safer. We struggled and learned so much the first time around and we do not have to go through that initial learning curve again. For the most part, we have somewhat of a good idea of what we are getting in to.
I spoke with Mathieu today and he is concerned that the "elections" can complicate things, but we both agreed that we will exercise more caution in what we do. It is an incredible opportunity to do good and everyone involved feels it is worth rolling the dice. I was honored by Craig inviting us and hope that our experience and knowledge gained last time will be of good use.
I will also be testing some very real, very revolutionary technology I have been developing on the side.
I feel it is going to be huge, and this will be the first real test. Toby, as well as a few close friends will be able to see this technology in action, in real time. This is a secondary and very legit reason to return.
Mark's death still has me a emotionally rattled, but I think by tomorrow I will be "squared away and good to go" as he would say. I am deeply saddened that there is a very good chance I will not be able to attend his funeral but knowing him, and what we are trying to accomplish, he would tell me to go to Haiti. This will make sense later. My plan is to get to Bama after we are finished and spend some time with him and his family. I should return to Maui in about 2 weeks.
I also want to say that I feel more committed and inspired by Mark for this trip and others to come in the future. It seems life is more precious when we are willing to sacrifice and take big risks and Mark showed us this. Mark and his family will continue to be on my mind and in my prayers during this trip. I will make posts or ask Toby or my father to as needed, but the posts may be sporadic. I have ever intention to tweet as much as possible, so if you have my Maven App, or are following me on Twitter, I will keep you updated.
If you have images, videos, stories, links or anything Mark Forester please send them my way, I am collecting them for his family and for the tribute post. I may not be able to respond or post immediately, but I will do what I can when I can.
More to come.