Traveling to Haiti and a 10K

by - Friday, February 19, 2010

As I mentioned in my cruise recap, I promised a post addressing our stop in Haiti in light of earthquake last month.

Royal Caribbean owns a peninsula in Haiti. It's a smallish portion of land that they pay money to the Haitian government to operate. The "island" employs several Haitians and there is also a marketplace where local artisans can bring their works to sell to the tourists.

Cruise ships stopping in the port bring in a lot of money to the country.

After the earthquake, there were a lot of questions about whether cruise ships would continue to dock there. The port is about 100 miles away from the earthquake site and suffered no damage. Royal Caribbean decided it would continue to dock there and eventually released an official statements with their reasons for doing so.

Many people disagreed with the decision saying it was ethically wrong to bring a bunch of vacationers to an island that was clearly going through a lot of suffering.

Other people took the position that the vacationers were bringing in a lot of money to a country that needed it badly to help rebuild.

That's pretty much where I fell in the whole discussion.

But I wanted to take a minute to illustrate some of the things Royal Caribbean is doing to help with the relief efforts.

1. They are bringing tourists to the island to spend money.

2. There is a donations area on the ship where passengers can pledge however much they want to the relief efforts.

3. When in port, tons and tons of relief supplies are being unloaded off the ship. I saw palettes of water being unloaded and tons of other boxes that I assume contained food and other supplies.

4. On my cruise the night before we docked in Haiti there was an auction of three cruise experiences: meeting the captain and blowing the ships horn, touring the galley and the engine room. Each was sold for several hundred dollars. I believe one was closer to $1,500. All the money went directly to the Haiti relief fund.

In running news, I busted out a 10K on the dreadmill last night. It was not the most enjoyable run ever. My hip nagged off and on. Great for the first 10 minutes, nagging for the next 20. Great for the next 15 minute. Nagging for the last 15.

I also noticed a little bit of shin splint action going on so this weekend I might finally go get myself some new shoes. Maybe they will help with the problem.

I'm also not sure how my runs on the ship were so pain free and now that I'm home the pain seems to be coming back.

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  1. If handled properly, stopping in Haiti is a good thing for the people there. There are always people to criticize, no matter what good you do :-)

  2. Anonymous11:12 AM

    Very cool about all the things they were doing to raise money on the ship.

    I went on a cruise to the Bahamas and Grand Turk back in December and miss that blue water!

  3. I have mixed feelings about the cruise ship stopping at Haiti, but the $$ and supplies going in are good things.

    Glad you had a nice trip!

  4. yep. new shoes will do the trick. might want to hit the bike a bit more too. work a balancing muscle group.

  5. Stopping in Haiti is certainly a delicate situation and it borders on exploitation, but I'm sure that the tourism is a desirable addition for the people and economy.

  6. The dreadmill hurts me more than runs outside. I think I have a crappy treadmill though.

    On the Haiti thing, it's funny that people object to that terribly; however tour buses showing people the ruins of Katrina (for quite a hefty price that I'm sure wasn't going to any local relief truth be told) weren't show stopping news. Just my thoughts though.

  7. maybe you need to take up foam rolling on that hip? i can't remember if you already are... just a thought - seems everyone else does it anyway! :)

    this is def a touchy subject, but i think i am holding the same opinion -- it's a (small) help to their economy/people who desperately need help. it's not like you are out gawking at the people living under tarps and stuff. i just wonder if royal caribbean charges a fee for the locals to sell on their peninsula? or other similar bs charges.

  8. It looks beautiful there! Great pictures!
    Very cool that the cruise ship was helping out with donations, etc. for Haiti. And, I'm sure the people appreciated having tourists to come spend money - in fact, it may have made people spend a lot more than they usually would - in the name of charity!