(posted by Jarrod Goentzel, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti)
We returned to the restaurant at the UN Logistics Base for dinner last night. There is something nice about relaxing with people from different organizations all playing distinct roles in the effort here. Tonight my eye kept wandering to a guy sitting alone with his computer at the table next to us in my line of site. Fair skinned with a scraggly beard and tussled hair, he looked to be in his mid-30s. Staring deeply into his computer, he caught my eye when he suddenly leaned forward and stuck his tongue out and smiled. He then bobbed side to side and smiled again. Clearly the wifi signal was strong enough for him to have a skype video connection with his kid(s) back home. And the glow of the computer screen on his face under the starry sky of the open air restaurant matched the glowing expression on his face.
As a father of two boys, ages 5 and 1, I can completely understand making silly gestures at a computer screen. And it made me really miss my own wife and boys. It also added a deeper level of respect that I have for these aid workers and soldiers toiling for weeks on end while their families are far away.