Friday, March 19, 2010

Update on our container shipment

We last posted on March 1st that our container containing food, medicines and medical supplies had made it to the port in the Dominican Republic.  We thought we'd wait until we had news of it clearing customs and being loaded onto a truck for delivery into Jimani before posting again.'ve just gotten a sense of how time often works in Haiti!

Here is where we are (greatly condensed to save you from having to read about the endless hours of discussion, walking from office-to-office and paperwork that's taken place over the weeks):

  1. We were cleared for duty free import into the Dominican Republic!
  2. Harvest Field procured a warehouse in Port au Prince, so we requested that the trucking company  change the destination.  It cost a bit but makes unloading and distribution soooo much easier.
  3. Our truck was released and headed to the border earlier this week.  Once there we learned that the border has really tightened up and any containers carrying medicines (ours does) are being strictly regulated.  After many, many, many hours of discussion and paper shuffling the truck was headed to Haitian customs in Port au Prince.
  4. Our bright yellow truck with Antillean down the side stood out at the border.  You could see it from miles away.  Once it was in the Port au Prince customs center it was one of thousands of containers, hard to pick it out in the crowd.  We learned that the trucking company put the wrong name down for the receiver.  This makes it really hard to pick up your trailer when the documents say it belong to someone else!  We got them to change this once we figured out what had happened.
  5. We start to work again on Monday trying to get the container cleared from customs.  We've got plenty of time to figure out how to make this go smoother next time!
More as we have it....

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