Musician in Petra, Jordan.
I have spent the entire weekend sorting through my antiques and collectibles, preparing for an antiques dealer's visit this week. The husband-and-wife team are bringing a big truck, so I'm hoping they'll take away certain pieces of furniture, as well as many other items. Then I'll have more space to breathe and fewer items to move early next year to Amsterdam.
I've also been going through my closet, gathering summer clothes for a French relief project for Haiti. Have donated money, as well, but wish I could do more. Having been through the Lomo Prieta earthquake in San Francisco in 1989, I've been struck by horrific photos showing the marked contrast between that damage and the current devastation in Haiti.
Most San Francisco residents will agree that if you have to be in an earthquake, San Francisco is the place to be: they know what to do. Fire, rescue and emergency services and much of the population are prepared for such an eventuality. Also, many buildings have had "earthquake-proof" retrofitting or renovation. In the '89 quake, I was on the 36th floor of the Pacific Telesis Tower, which swayed on giant springs, but didn't fall. In contrast, Haiti's across-the-board destruction is a stark reminder that most of us have much for which to be thankful.
The last few days I've been watching and reading the news from Haiti in small doses. In between, I've been escaping into Robert Mitchum films of the 1940s and '50s and trying to clear the never-ending email backlog.
I've also prepared some surprises for our upcoming trip to Jordan March 1-8. Registration is closed, but I'm planning another journey there in November. Two people already have signed up for that trip, which will involve off-the-beaten track travel, photography and more. Enrollment will be limited to ten; details will be announced later this spring. Hope you can join us!