Saturday, January 29, 2011

Haiti #3: Finally, Day 1

Read here, here, and here first. And to look at pictures go here.

Then move onto this post!

Just in case you were wondering... Yes, I was concerned about going on this trip. Riots, cholera, here's the biggest one though... People I don't know. Not a happy thought for me. It's been true since my younger days that I do not play well with others. Especially, strangers. It's Monday morning and I'm thinking the same thoughts I had been thinking for over a month.

What in the world am I doing?


I don't know anyone. I'm going to a place where people keep dying. I'm exhausted from my new job and would really like to take a week and just rest. What was I thinking??!!?

Then I remember the video I talked about in my last post about a boy named Hudson.

If a riot happens. God will take care of me. If I get cholera. God will take care of me. How will I see hurting children and not be able to help. God will take care of me. Amongst a group of strangers. God will take care of me. This trip is about the Lord, not me. Again... He says to be still and know that He is God.

I get up bright and early that morning and head to Atlanta airport. Once I get to the gate I meet up with the guy I'm flying with. He's an 18 yr old kid who seems to love the Lord. We fly to Miami and hang out for several hours. On the flight to Haiti from Miami he gets real nervous. I finally ask why...

He had lost his wallet.

Long story short someone in Miami turned his wallet in and called his mom! wow!!

The flight to Haiti other than that was great. I sat next to a couple who was going to work with Samaritan's purse to help with cholera. We had great discussions about the Lord that reminded me He had indeed sent me on this trip even for that moment.

When we landed in Haiti and my feet hit Haitian ground I felt one of those beautiful calm moments. I was suppose to be here. Despite the past few months of dramatics. I was right where I was suppose to be.

Praise the Lord for that feeling because little did I know the next few hours of chaos that were coming.

Adventures in Missions had 3 teams in Haiti the week I was there. When we got to the airport we met up with some folks from the the other teams. They eventually met up with their leaders. Alex (the guy I flew with), myself and Val another girl on our team were still at the airport looking for a bag of Val's. Turns out it didn't make it. Most everyone is gone now but us and some Haitians. In walks an American guy with an Adventures in Mission shirt on. He was like I think ya'll are suppose to be with us. We ask about our leaders. He then informs us that that trip (the one we were suppose to be on) wouldn't be starting until Wednesday because the rest of the team (other than us) was stuck up north in the blizzard. Oh great.

The three of us just kind of looked at each other like. Oh okay.

So we just loaded up and went with this guy.

The bus ride felt like it took FOREVER!!! It's well after dark now and we left Atlanta at 7:45am. The roads were not roads. They were paths with potholes big enough to sink a ship in. On this great ride we realize chaos moment # 2. One of the girls on this team talks about bringing her tent has a carry on. I look at Val and asked if she brought a tent. She said no.

You see, our team was not suppose to bring tents, but there team was. Awesome. Here we are with no team and now no tent. Still, I am suppose to be here.

We get to the house where the other team is. Well, we get close to it. Due to the rubble our bus can't actually fit down the street so we have to get off the bus and walk in the dark down the street a little ways to the house with all our luggage.

We get into the house and that's when I realize culture difference #1. The electricity there only works on occasion. So, we walk in this dark house and have to get out our flash lights. There is some food on a table and we go get some of that. Here I sit in a dark room with about 15 other people I don't know eating food I can't see. Then I have to pee.

Oh the bathroom is right there. Then I hear... (Culture difference #2) By the way don't flush the toilet paper, put it in the trashcan. I walk into the bathroom and shut the door. Looking for the light switch. Junk! there's no electricity and I left my flash light by my food. I manage to go and find toilet paper and the trash can in the dark. Then I get up to wash my hands and realize no wait you can't use the water or I might die of cholera! Last thing I want to do is poop myself to death. Oh dear it's going to be a long week.

I go back to my plate as I'm eating I hear someone talk about what it is. I comment that the piece of meat had a good spice to it. Then I hear someone say, "oh you must have eaten a piece of goat." Luckily it was dark so my expression wasn't seen. As I think my gag reflexes kicked in a bit. Then I realized. It tasted really good! Who cares if it was goat!

The night rolls on. We have to wash our dishes. In the dark. In a bucket of water with lots of bleach by using flashlights. Good times.

We load up 11 people. Luggage for 9 people. In a truck meant to carry 5 people. As many of us are sitting on top of our luggage in the back of our truck our leader tells us to try and not draw attention to ourselves.

I look at one of the people on my team and said. It's after dark. We have 6 white people hanging on for dear life in this truck with a Haitian driver... How do we not draw attention?

Finally we make it to the house we are staying at. Turns out Val and I found two couches under a covered "porch." We stayed here the first night because the locals said it was suppose to rain so we shouldn't be on the roof with no tent. I got my ear plugs out and passed out to the faint sound of chickens, goats, and Haitians scurrying about. Val borrowed stuff she didn't have in her carry on and we discussed the chaos of the day before we went to sleep. I realized through her God was already taking care of me. I do better with one on one. Had we been in our own tents that night Val and I wouldn't have shared the time together that we did. The chaos was a blessing.

What a day.

Oh and by the way... After I left Miami and had to tell my family I would talk to them on Saturday. There was no way for me to contact them once I got there. I was worried they wouldn't sleep all week. I fall asleep that night hoping they were resting because I was perfectly okay.


Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read the rest of your story.
We love you forever,

Lucy said...

"I don't want to poop myself to death."

Best. Quote. Ever.

Lindsey said...

Haha! :) They actually have beds with holes cut out of them so people could just go without having to move. Nice, huh?