Great Haiti Adventure: Day One
For the next few months, I will be sharing the daily posts I wrote while in Haiti. 11 days, 11 posts.
I made it through several of the what ifs today. I didn’t miss my flight. I remembered my passport. My luggage arrived on time. My phone works!
My flight was scheduled for around 8 a.m. When I got through security and headed toward my gate, I discovered my flight was delayed due to weather in Atlanta. Uh oh. This could very well mean a missed connection for my flight to Haiti. Thankfully I’m a seasoned traveler. I looked to see if the 6 a.m. ATL flight had been delayed as well. It had and I was able to get on that flight. I made it to ATL with plenty of time to spare and even found a decent breakfast.
The flight from ATL to Port au Prince was uneventful. 3 hours in the exit row. I was able to text during the flight. And read about nutrition in Haiti. And maybe nap just a little!
My PAP airport experience was incredibly smooth. Landing in India was far more chaotic. I sailed through luggage claim and immigration. I followed Dad’s advice and allowed someone to help me with my bags. We exited the airport and Dad was there waiting for me. I texted my mom and Colin to let them know I was safe. So far so good.
After many years in Haiti, Dad has learned that it’s best to avoid night-time travel. For that reason we decided to stay in a resort about an hour north of PAP. I was excited to start this journey with a relaxing evening. Wifi, swimming pool, beach, billiard table, hot shower. Sign me up!
We started our drive and before long we encountered policemen standing in the middle of the road holding machine guns. One of them waved Dad over. The cop spoke very little English. Dad knows a little bit of Creole. It was an interesting exchange. After about 10 minutes of going back and forth, we were on our way again. It felt kind of scary at the time, but it turns out that our 10 minute delay was divine intervention.
We drove for about 5 more minutes and traffic came to a standstill. We waited. And waited. And waited. We could see that there was a crowd of people far off in the distance. We found out the crowd was a protest. Had we been any earlier, we may have been caught up in the protest. Instead, we received a text from a friend and decided to turn around. No resort stay, but no violence either!
We made our way back to Port au Prince and back to the missionary quarters where Dad and Denise often stay. We were greeted warmly and offered a hot (and delicious) meal. I enjoyed meeting other guests and listening to stories about local life, but by about 7 p.m., I said my good nights. I could hardly keep my eyes open.
Today we avoided a lot of what ifs that I didn’t even imagine. I am grateful. I am exhausted. I am excited to see what tomorrow brings.