Saturday, January 23, 2010

Destination Home

I'm back! For those who were worried, I don't think I got malaria; I used lots of mosquito repellent.

Here are some of my thoughts about the journey in a blog post I wrote late last night for, and here is a link to the story I did for KSL radio, with some of the pictures I took as well.

Hopefully soon they'll post the video story my fellow KSL reporter Alex Cabrero shot while there, and you can get a better idea of the journey. Tonight at 10 he'll do another story about the airport itself and the refugees we brought back. I think they should post that video too later. They have the audio posted on the first link of one of my radio stories I did; I filed 4 different stories about the reservists' duties, the crumbling airport, the people we met, and the refugees we brought back.

Basically I woke up at 4:15 on Friday morning to get to HAFB by 6, and I didn't get home until 11 AM Saturday morning. I stayed awake for probably 22 or 23 hours, though I tried to nap on the C-17 cargo plane on the way to Port-au-Prince.

What's that you say? A C-17? Here are some pictures I took as I walked out to it:

The view from my seat:
Me visiting the cockpit: (those pilots, Eric and Averie, are AMAZING and they were really nice to us reporters)
The American flag at the top of the plane as we were ready to get out in Port-au-Prince:
You have to wear ear plugs because it's so loud inside, but WOW what a plane. It took about 6 hours to get from Hill to Haiti. We were at the airport 2 hours, and they wouldn't let us leave the tarmac. There were 5 of us in the press corps traveling with the reservists, and I don't think they wanted us wandering! Plus I didn't have the right paperwork to leave. The city is about 7 miles away but we could smell the smoke from a huge fire burning there.

This post is getting long so I will write tomorrow a little more about flying back with the orphans and refugees that melted my heart. Plus my Amazing Race-esque scramble to find a way back to Salt Lake!


The Joe said...

So far that sounds like an amazing experience. James and I are jealous of the c-17 ride.

Collette said...

Can't wait to hear the story tomorrow at dinner. I heard on the radio Friday morning that Mary Richards was going to be reporting from Haiti later that day and I thought I heard them wrong but obviously not. What a great experience for you!

autumn said...

Phew! You made it home alive and managed to look really good while fighting to bring us Utahns all the news that's fit for the radio waves.

I'm glad you're okay and loved your stories. You're amazing.

Soul-Fusion said...

what an amazing experience Mary!