The Good Times

The nice thing about working on this response were all the good times. Not only was each day different and challenging, but rewarding. Rewards came in many forms, job satisfaction and end of day parties.

Long lunches at Pizza Garden or other nicer restaurants such as Kinam. We were a good team and either at work or play, always had a good time of it. In 2010, the World Cup of Soccer was a huge event. It was even bigger for my team.

Before Haiti, I will admit, I was not a soccer fan. Since 2010, I am a huge soccer fan and have made many acquaintances and friends who play professionally. During the World Cup, we had a small TV in our office and spend much time watching. Gilbert, a huge fan of Germany was constantly monitoring his team.

During the final, there was a huge gathering at the Black Mountain residence. The final match between the Netherlands and Spain was awesome. Ton, the response manager, being Dutch, was certainly hoping for a Netherlands win. Most of the office, was hoping for a Spanish victory, me included.

Watching the Netherlands go down in defeat was great. I was upset with the Netherlands 4 years later in 2014 defeating the home town Costa Rica. But that is another story.

Black Mountain Run

One of Ton’s big things was ensuring fitness among the staff. Again, Ton being a Dutchman, loved to run. And Ton ran, and ran, and ran. I almost wondered if he was related to Forest Gump with how much he ran.

A weekend run for Ton would include running up and down Black Mountain into Petionville. At some point during one of these runs, he had the idea that everyone could do it. So, Ton decided that every weekend there would be a Black Mountain Run Challenge.

Every Sunday, a run would start from the GN Plaza team house and follow the route shown above to the Black Mountain team house. There would be prizes for the winner of the run, the last place person, and other silly prizes.

Now me on the other hand, I do not run unless someone is chasing me. Then I can run faster scared than anyone can run angry! So, these silly uphill runs were not for me. I did all my uphill runs when I was in the military. Thinking quickly, I remembered that most of my military runs had a chase vehicle for those who fell injured.

Quickly, I volunteered my nice black Hilux as the chase vehicle…with yours truly as the driver! Such great thinking. When we reached the entrance to the Black Mountain team house, I would jump out and jog the last 50 meters to the finish line!

Dress Shoes

Our Finance Manager, Canadian/Egyptian was never one to say no to a challenge. Unfortunately, he did not deploy prepared for these runs. He was also not one for sport, but accepted the challenges as they came.

During his first run, the 3.3 kilometers UP the mountain, he did not have running shoes or shorts. He did the entire run in his patent leather dress shoes and slacks. I must say, he was the best dressed runner of the day. Ash did receive a prize for his efforts and good nature.

Next – First SRMT & HEAT

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