Great Haiti Adventure: Day 10
We’re in Port au Prince (PAP) for the night so we can fly out tomorrow! I’ve had an amazing experience but I’m ready to be home.
My morning started at about 2:45 ET. My alarm was set for 3 but my sleep was restless so I went ahead and got up. Dad climbed on the roof and took down the solar panels yesterday so we had no electricity this morning. But, he did have a flashlight and a couple of LED lanterns that he charged in the sun yesterday, so we could see just fine. It took us about an hour to get everything loaded and then we were off.
Why on Earth did we leave so early? Well, there have been a number of violent manifestations (protests/mobs) in PAP since we’ve been in Haiti. Many of these have been along the main route we take to drive into town. The earliest the activity tends to start is 8 a.m. and we wanted to get ahead of any potential risk. We made it through well before 8 and arrived at the guest house by 8:20. I am so grateful for how vigilant Dad has been regarding our safety.
We rested for a bit and then went out to buy some Haitian art. Dad and Denise sell the art in the states to help fund their return trips. I picked up a few small items but had to keep my buying in check. I have only a carry-on suitcase for myself. I will check 2 bags for Dad—each of them weighs the maximum 50 pounds. We also went to a grocery store with walls and aisles and price tags. I have loved the vibrancy of the markets but it was comforting to feel a sense of home. I bought a small can of this amazing powdered milk. It’s from New Zealand and it is full of cream. It is to die for in my morning coffee. I also gave in and bought a Diet Pepsi. It’s funny; I gave up soda 3.5 years ago but something about being here has made me crave one. Maybe that whole sense of home thing.
We found a restaurant for lunch. Again, a place more like home than our egg sandwich place in Gros Morne. I was excited to look at the menu and try something new. But, luck would have it that the vegetarian menu item was, wait for it: an egg sandwich! So, I had my egg salad sandwich for breakfast during our 4.5 hour drive and then I had an egg sandwich for lunch. It was fine, but the truth is that the sandwich from the hole in the wall is WAY better! Regardless, it was nice to sit outside and share a meal. And Dad really enjoyed his pork dish.
We came back to the guest house in the late afternoon to assemble everything into our 4 checked bags, each weighing the exact 50 pounds! Other guests began to arrive. Probably about 30 all total. It’s a full house tonight. We shared supper together and sat around talking about lessons learned and making new connections. Everyone else we met was here with one of a couple of groups, serving for a week. It made me proud of Dad and Denise because they are here for 3 months at a time. I’m not diminishing at all the value of these week-long medical missions. I’m just recognizing D and D for their contributions!
After supper I took a shower. And now I’m not sure which I’d rather have. A warm dribble shower at Dad’s apartment or a high pressure, plenty of water, cold shower here. Yes, I am super excited to get home to hot, high pressure and plenty!
It’s 9 p.m. and given our early start, I’m getting delirious. Credit it to fatigue. Credit it to feeling good about a job well done. Credit it to the anticipation that, in 26 hours, I’ll be landing at BNA. All is well in my world.