Haiti — A Folbot Story

The Haiti earthquake in January was a disaster of epic proportions.

Photo by Reuters

There have been stories of both incredible tragedy and incredible triumph. Fortunately, I can share one of the good ones.

Just yesterday I received an email from Matthew Marek, a Folbot customer who lives and works in Haiti. Here is some of his story… in his own words:

So far my Kodiak has been through possibly one of the most adventuresome land journeys known to any Folbot. On January 12th my friend Mike who had already agreed to receive the Kodiak at his place in Florida and check it on the plane during his travels for work to Haiti, was at the Toussaint Louverture airport in Port-au-Prince. He texted me that he had arrived and all was well. He was just getting his luggage, one piece was the Kodiak frame, he’d already brought the skin and accessories a month before…. maybe an hour and a half later the earthquake hit.

It was a few weeks before I spoke to Mike again.  The first few days and weeks were chaos in Haiti, and still now not much better. Aside from my work with the American Red Cross I was simultaneously searching for friends. It only took a few days before I got news that Mike was ok. But when we finally sat down in his office weeks later he told me that after the quake in which he was in his office, he walked to the hotel where all of his stuff was, including the Kodiak frame. The hotel was partially destroyed and Mike couldn’t stay there. He gathered his luggage from the room for the long walk back to his office which was in better shape. And as he pulled his stuff together he looked at the long duffle bag in the corner sighing but knowing he had to take it. He paid someone to help him carry the frame back to his office. In Haitian fashion, his helper propped the duffle bag on his head and followed Mike down the rubble covered streets to his office. Now as I sat with Mike in his office there was the Kodiak frame I’d been waiting months for, in the corner. But now after the earthquake with so much to do when would I ever get the chance to enjoy it.

Well this past weekend I did enjoy it.  This Friday, Saturday and Sunday I launched my Kodiak early each morning off the beach in the south of Haiti and paddled for miles on top of the deep blue sea into a much needed space of peace and tranquility. And afterwards gave some of the local Haitian kids a quick ride in the surf. From the expressions on their faces you can see they approve of the Kodiak as well. I just wanted to thank you and your team for a great product. I hope to get years of use out of it, including exploring most of Haiti’s large coast line.

Matt also sent along these photos:

Showing the Kodiak how it's done

Whoo hoo!

Woo hoo!

Another woo hoo!

Another woo hoo!


Matt with a little help from his friends

Thanks for everything, Matt.

David A.


4 thoughts on “Haiti — A Folbot Story

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