These little events stay in the mind, but they were horrible punctuations in a rich tapestry of life. Towards the end of the trip, I had completed the work I needed to do and had my inputs ready for the workshop. Jean Luc needed some help at the hotel where the workshop was to be held, so I accompanied him on a short visit there. The Montana had been one of the flagship hotels in Haiti before the quake. Like many high status buildings on the south side of the valley, it had a prominent position on the end of a ridge. As we headed up the entrance driveway, the vista revealed itself – the Caribbean Sea to the west, the port and downtown area next by the coast, and the suburbs, airport and salt lake all laid out below us. But the hotel was a shadow of itself. It did not reveal itself to me immediately. Jean Luc and I walked across a small garden with a formal ornamental pond into a small neatly painted office; the reception. We waited a while for the staff to become free and then walked with the events manager to the conference room. We passed a pool surrounded by half collapsed masonry, and into a large room facing out over the city.
We sorted out the affairs and I took a little look outside on the terrace. There seemed to be few guests and few rooms for them to stay in, but the room we were looking at was in good repair. Another sign of the disproportionate damage done and the disproportionate manner in which the reconstruction had taken place.