Who's Eddie?


After a CARE meeting early this month, Janis glances over between sips of coffee and nonchalantly asks, “Would you like to go to Haiti with me and my friend Eddie on April 21?”

“Sure.” I say.

“Great.” she says after her next sip.

¨Who´s Eddie?¨, I ask a few days later, trying to be as nonchalant as she earlier, not wanting to let on that I´m nervous about what I´ve signed up for.

Eddie is Edwidge Armand, a former pro soccer player turned dad, soccer coach and CEO of Tropical Salt Corp, his family’s salt mining business. Eddie was born in Haiti and runs a private foundation doing humanitarian projects there. He’s been especially busy since the 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the island 2 months ago, turning Port Au Prince into rubble.

But Janis tells me none of this at the time.

“He's a friend”, she says. ¨He exports salt an runs some schools in Haiti. We´re going to see how we can help.”

Ökay, ¨I say.

And that was that. Within a week, I'm sitting at the dining table of Eddie´s southwest Atlanta home, talking to his kids and cooly working through the list of questions my mother has prepped me with to assess the risk of kidnapping, murder and infectious disease.

"It will be fine", Eddie and Janis both say. I don't know it yet, but they're right.