Well, it’s been a LONG last few days. We’ve been going non-stop since we arrived in Haiti on Sunday afternoon. I’ll try to update here in some stages, even though it all has happened, I haven’t had time to stop and write about it.
On our way to Haiti, we had some delays with our flights. On Saturday evening we flew from Sacramento to Los Angeles. From Los Angeles we were taking a re eyed flight to miami, but that flight kept getting pushed back in time because the plane we were waiting for was late. We finally left about and hour and a half after we were supposed to, but we did NOT make up the time while we were in the air. The flight was originally supposed to get in at 4:45 am miami time, and we were going to leave on our flight for Haiti at 6:45am. However, our delays plane from L.A. didn’t get in until after 7am, so we had missed our flight.
it looked for a while like our only option to get into Haiti on that day was then going to be half of us going on the next flight to Haiti, and the other half being on standby and then going on the next flight after that if the couldn’t make it on the first plane. By the grace of God, we all made it onto the same plane so we could arrive in country together and face the chaotic airport in Port Au Prince.
The baggage claim was sort of a free for all. The one belt they had was small, and they didn’t let anything stay on it, so there were men just unloading everything into a large pile out of which we were trying to grab all of our bags. At one point, we had all of our bags except Maddy’s, so Rodney got on top of the pile of bags near the end of the belt and was sorting through, pulling out any medium sized black bag he found: “This one it??” he’d yell. Though for about 15 minutes, he touched about every medium-sized black bag in that airport except Maddy’s. we did eventually find it, though, and we then proceeded through customs very easily because the airport was so busy that they weren’t even taking the time to inspect our customs forms, so we went right outside the airport amid a horde of men who were waiting to work, wanting to help with our baggage. we had to wrestle our bags away from them a few times. we called Frantz, and soon he brought a few trucks to pick us up. in our short walk in the fenced in area of the airport, us girls got whistled at, winked at, honked at, yelled at, and stared at continually.
Then we left the airport.
On our drive to the college, our three leaders — Pat, Travis and I — all rode with Frantz so we could ask questions and get the low-down on how the trip was going to go.
As we drove it was interesting to see just the congestion of the urban area. Buildings and people and rubble everywhere. it’s hard for me to envision what it looked like before the earthquake here. I know it was already crowded, and it was already pretty dusty and dirty and poverty was rapid, but I guess there wasn’t the loads of rubble at every turn.
It was a lot to take in all in one ride. For me personally I found it to be a hard ride because I wasn’t shocked by the poverty, the rubble, the circumstances, because I’ve been in other places which looked similar and I’ve been following the situation in Haiti on the news pretty continually, but I was discontent with myself at the fact that I wasn’t shocked. As I was praying that night before going to sleep, I prayed that though I was not shocked, that God would brew a dissatisfaction in me with the way things are here. I have come to allow that to be my prayer mantra for this trip. Throughout our time here so far, I have not been shocked. Maybe it’s because of my experience, or some of the maturity I’ve gained or something. But I do not want to become apathetic simply because I know poverty like this exists and because this isn’t new news to me. I want to be dissatisfied with the way things are here so that my soul is burning to be a part of changing it. Because I know that our God is also dissatisfied when people are living in circumstances that cause them pain, death, and a continual state of brokenness. So as we’ve traveled, I’ve been having my heart changed to be dissatisfied with the way things are, and to begin having hope that it doesn’t have to be this way forever. Haiti can be renewed. The Haitian people can live in circumstances where they don’t have to bathe in the filthy gutters with water that may very well carry cholera. It doesn’t have to stay this way forever. I have hope in this dissatisfaction and the things it drives me to pray for in the way of change.
We arrived at the college having not slept except for a few of us who got some sleep on the red-eye. When we got there, we ate a late lunch, met with the work and witness coordinators (Steve and Amanda Pettit) who are in training right now under Frantz, and then we took a quick 20 minute rest to get situated. Right after that, we went straight to work sorting through construction supplies and packing boxes we needed to take to the work site, fixing air compressors and generators, and then packing up the bus for us to take in the morning.
Early the next morning we left on our journey to the Island of La Gonave.