by Amanda, Heidi, and Kora, Central College MH4H trip participants
After traveling for 36 hours, we finally made it to Haiti! Although we experienced minor incidents with scissors in a carry-on and balloon animals popping in the airport, we navigated through airport security, immigration, customs, and our three flights with ease.
Yesterday afternoon we flew into Miami, where we ate real food and caught up on some much-needed sleep. We left our hotel at 5:00 this morning in preparation for our flight to Port-au-Prince. Before we landed in Haiti, Tim cautioned us that our exit from the airport could be challenging, as many people might try to “help” us with our luggage for a fee. The members of our group were surprised to discover that this was not a problem due to extra security.
Once the vans arrived on “Haiti time,” we strapped down all of our luggage to the tops of the vehicles, and team members piled in for the ride of our lives. The first couple hours were very scenic, and the roads were in good condition. The view varied from the crowded capital city to small towns in the mountains. The terrain consisted of cornfields and flood plains, as well as huge mountains and a beautiful lake.
The last stretch of the drive challenged our definition of a road with water crossings, incredible inclines, puddles the size of pools, thick mud, and tree debris. Our favorite parts were the “roller coaster hills” that had vertical drop-offs steep enough to make the bravest of us squeal in delight (see pictures below).
Around 3:30 this afternoon, we spied the green gates of the Many Hands for Haiti compound. The staff greeted us with friendly hugs and a warm welcome. We were then lead to our beautiful rooms in the MH4H dorm and Zeke’s house. After devouring some delicious, delayed delicacies, we set out to explore the town. Woody (one of the staff for MH4H) led this excursion to the spring. We practiced our Creole greetings and puddle evading skills along the way. The spring is where many of the locals come to bathe and draw water. Our group brought fingernail polish and bubbles just in time to interact with Haitians of all ages—in the rain.
We are currently back at the dorm with our stomachs satisfied by awesome Haitian food. Before heading to bed, we had a large group discussion about our plans for the week. It looks like the days will be packed, but absolutely incredible! We are constantly being reminded we are here to learn, and this is not about us. Pray we continue to see God at work and follow His lead even if our circumstances are difficult or surprising.
Thanks for joining us in the journey. We love you all!