Global Lens Reflections on life, the universe, and everything

Helicopter boy

A boy evacuated from Jacmel, on Haiti's southern coast, arrives in Port-au-Prince on January 22 aboard a U.S. Navy helicopter and is escorted off the aircraft by a U.S. sailor. Hundreds of thousands of Haitians remain homeless and hungry in the wake of the country's devastating January 12 earthquake.

Sometimes you just keep following a subject, in case something interesting happens. On this day, I flew on a U.S. Navy Blackhawk helicopter from Port-au-Prince to Jacmel, on Haiti’s southern coast. It was a very ecumenical trip: the U.S. military transporting emergency assistance provided by German churches, which was offloaded by Canadian soldiers and turned over to a Haitian organization for distribution to quake survivors. On the trip back, we brought with us some Haitian kids who were being evacuated. After landing at the Port-au-Prince airport, the crew carried the kids away from the aircraft. I shot them walking away from the helicopter, but then hustled after them, because you never know what will happen next. Following on the heels of one crew member, I captured this image of the little boy looking up at the face of the sailor. Lesson: the photo op ain’t over til it’s over.

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