On the 18th March, 2011, I arrived in Santo Domingo after a nine-hour bus ride from Port-au-Prince. I had been visiting the Dominican capital for years, but I had never arrived from Haiti. \
Entering Santo Domingo was a shock to the system after spending two months in a Haitian disaster zone. Newly painted glass-and-concrete buildings stood in neat rows, nestled in tropical foliage. Well-dressed pedestrians flowed sparsely and smoothly along the evenly-paved sidewalks.
It struck me that a parent could actually push a pram along one of these sidewalks with no difficulty at all. Luxury vehicles were directed along well-maintained roads by instructional signs and physical barriers. It was eerily quiet. Santo Domingo appeared to my Haiti-filled senses to be a strange, shining example of order, governance, and care. It looked, I thought at the time, like California.