Oh vey! I almost made a colossal novice mistake on arrival to the airport. When looking at my travel times I kept focusing on my ‘departure’ time and not when they would actually be boarding the plane. I set my alarm to be there an hour (not two) from that time. When I arrived to the ticket counter and told my destination, the lady started ‘educating’ me on international flight times and arrivals to the airport. I had a total brain fart on all of this. She pushed me to get all my bags weighed (luckily I had weighed and re-weighed, then rearranged and weighed again last night). One bag was 49 lbs and one exactly 50 lbs. I walked away from the counter hoping they arrive with me…because I basically walked into the airport and onto my plane…they were already boarding when I got to the gate. But for God’s mercies I was not stuck paying fees and trying to catch another flight.
Side note the gentlemen at the parking lot I left my car at made jokes about me carrying midgets or bowling balls in my luggage. LOL. I kept telling them it was heavy and I could get it, but I was secretly very happy they insisted…because they were heavy!
I arrived without delay, with my bags arriving at the same time — always a bonus. I paid $10 to get into the country and made it through customs without difficulty. Though since three plans arrived at the same time there was a bit of a delay and the missionaries were wondering if I had been detained — but all was well!
My friends who have been here before made the statement “You cannot unsee Haiti”…after being here one afternoon I understand that statement to the core of my being. I have been on mission trips where we would go to the ‘shanty town’ and see the devastation that some people deal with…here it is the whole country. But on the flip side, the people are happy. The missionaries stated that the people are ‘strong and resilient’. They go to local ‘wells’ for their daily water and cook over open flames/fires outside. The majority of people in the US that cry poverty would balk at this.
We picked our second person up and headed to go eat. Driving here is a skill and every man for himself. What you would consider a two lane road turns into a four lane interstate (just driving slower like rush hour traffic), throw pedestrians into the mix randomly, some motorcycles that up to three people can be sitting on, and roaming livestock and other animals and you have the streets of Haiti.
While we were eating a rain storm apparently happened on the mountain. A street we had went down but an hour before was flooded, and the ditch was running crazy. Flash flooding at its best.
We arrived at the compound unloaded our stuff, and I crashed out. They had children there for their ‘playground time’ and Bible Study. A day full of traveling and seeing the city. Tomorrow we go to set the clinic up.