—–To read part one, click HERE.——
June 14th the 7 of us left at 5am for Chicago O’Hare Airport!!!!! All of our checked bags were supplies for the trip and our carry-ons had our personal stuff. Somehow, although I really don’t know how, I fit everything I personally needed for two weeks (Space Compressible Bags are a wonderful invention!!!!). I pretty much rotated 4 outfits the entire time…but it worked fine!!
We arrived in Port au Prince, Haiti late afternoon. It was mighty warm!!!! Ok, it was hot. After unsuccessfully waving off any help to carry our bags (you must tip if they help so we were going to just try to carry all the bags on our own….but they wouldn’t listen) we got to our bus that would take us to the town we were staying at.
I guess you could say I had a little bit of culture shock. Seeing the real thing. Not pictures from somebody else’s trip, but I was ACTUALLY THERE!!!! It was kind of a deep down heart wrenching feeling that people really do live like this. It isn’t some fiction story someone told….it’s real. It’s something I couldn’t really understand until I saw it in person. Pictures just don’t do it justice.
I was also quite
shocked amused astonished at the way people drive down there! They sure do use their car horns! If you see somebody you know, you honk. If you are going around a corner, you honk. If somebody is in your way, you honk. If you see somebody who might be in your way, you honk. If you see somebody who probably won’t be in your way, you honk. 🙂 Several times I caught myself gripping the seat because we almost ran into another vehicle (or they almost ran into us)….relax!!!! I kept trying to remind myself. By the time it was time to come home, I was used to it. You know that you probably maybe won’t actually hit someone….maybe.
After the bus broke down for an hour, and driving on extremely bumpy rocky roads, we arrived at Dèsarmes (the town that we were staying at) at about 11pm. We were so tired and I could barely think about where we were…I just wanted to go to bed!!!! But the introduction to the bathroom quickly woke me up. I mean, how could it not?
Yes. That was our bathroom. You go in through the curtain (right behind the tree) and behind another curtain is the toilet:
After the first several times of using it, it almost seemed like old hat. Just get used to it and move on. I mean, you don’t really have any other options!! (but make sure you remember to always carry toilet paper with you!)
That’s the same shed we
took showers washed off ourselves in too. There is a bucket with a scoop just inside the door. It’s almost bath temperature if you take your bath at the right time of the day from the sun warming it 🙂 We would just use the scoop to pour water over ourselves to wash up. Our hair was a different story. Three of us girls would help each other wash our hair (I especially needed help with my hair length!). We would sit in a chair and lean back giving tips on how we wash our own hair and hand the shampoo back when they were ready for it. 🙂
We set up our beds and found places for our bags by flashlight (no electricity….but they did have one bulb in that house that was solar powered….and attracted all the bugs from a mile around 🙂 ) and they had supper waiting for us. I honestly can’t remembered what I ate. I think I might have slept-ate. Is there such a thing?
We got some much needed rest that night (I actually woke up cold at one point in the night) and the next day, Monday, was day 1 of our medical clinic!!
We had the medical clinic 2 days in a row. And we saw about 250 people!! We spent some time setting up, figuring out who was going to do what, and splitting up vitamins and medicines into one or two dose baggies.
Two nurses came with us to help with the medical clinic. Three of us girls (Jamie, Heidi and I) manned the “pharmacy”, as we called it, and Heidi was the main prayer-person. We prayed with everybody after their check up and before we handed them their vitamins.
Those chickens? I think they thought their home was right there at the church. They were pretty much always there 🙂
I hung out with the kids for awhile. Someone from the team brought a coloring book. Those kids LOVED coloring!!! As soon as I pulled it out kids came out of the woodwork wanting to color!!! And they colored every single page!! 🙂
I had fun trying to communicate with them….which was actually next to impossible. It’s amazing how much you can “talk” with facial expressions and hand motions!!
They loved getting their pictures taken!! I showed them how to take pictures…so then I came home with 600 pictures on my camera 😀 Oh well!! They got lots of good candid photos for me 🙂
They loved looking at my watch, bracelet, touching my hair and skin 🙂
Oh yes, and I got to hold babies. One of the absolute best things in life in my opinion 🙂
We finished up at 3:30ish that afternoon. We had our only meal of that day then. Chicken, rice, fried plantain, fresh bananas, potatoes and eggs. It. Was. Delicious!! I love bananas!!!! And those bananas were really good!!!!!
That was the only day we only had one meal. The rest of the time we were there we had two meals a day. Breakfast and “lunch” (between 12 and 2).
We pretty much relaxed for the rest of the day, and enjoyed the rain in the late afternoon which cooled it off a bit.
–to be continued–
to read part three, click HERESubscribe to get our blog posts in your inbox!