The whole process of preparing to leave for Haiti was fairly stress free. There were some rough goodbyes and moments of fleeting panic, but overall I was ready. Sure. Confident.
Two letters I was waiting to read had been written specifically for the flight. One friend wrote: “So you’re on the plane now and it just got real…Knowing you, you probably JUST NOW got a little nervous.” Oh how well she knows me 🙂
I had a stash of letters saved up for the plane and they were awesome. I got nauseous. Then re-read them. I smiled. Re-read them again. Cried. Re-read them again. Then I just breathed. Thankful for the opportunity this will be and the change this will bring. And then I landed, minus all of my luggage, and walked out into the frenzy of heat and dust.
The first nine hours in Haiti were the most difficult. I was exhausted from an early flight, disappointed my bags didn’t make it, but also super excited that I was finally here. It made for a pretty strange mix of emotions. Fortunately, a good nights sleep worked wonders and this week has been a whirlwind of diving right in.
Highlights of this week:
– Dropping by one of our orphanage partners with a family. Just a few minutes there with those sweet faces is not enough, I can’t wait to get back. I fell in love with a little guy who kept trying to feed me his bread. He could NOT stop giggling – we have that in common 🙂
– Stacking 5 cots on top of the Jeep to drive them home, realizing that one of the mattresses fell and was blowing away behind us. Doing a quick U-turn and chasing down a man that was walking away with it. In the end, we got the beds we needed and it all worked out! Success!
– Grocery shopping for a team of 25. With two Haitian men. In stores I’m not familiar with. Let’s just say each trip to the store was an adventure in itself. I also got my first tap tap ride!
– Apparent Project, finally! It’s amazing. All of the pretty. It’s hard to control yourself there. Oh and the smoothies! When you’ve been sweating all day and it feels like 110 degrees outside, those fresh smoothies are a little slice of heaven. Magical, I tell you.Praises:
– My luggage all arrived safely the day after I arrived. It was not at all the nightmare it could have been, so praise God for that!
– Week one has come and gone and I haven’t been scared off yet! We’ve had a wonderful team of 25 here. Getting to hear their stories and see their excitement each night is contagious. Seeing some of the amazing dancing they’ve been doing with kids has been really fun. I’ll try to post to videos!
– Every single sunrise (yes, I have been up to see my fair share of these this week) and sunset is incredible. Haiti is beautiful. I love it and I can’t wait to tackle another week!
– We have adoptive families that have been waiting at different stages in their paperwork processes because of some new changes Haiti implemented. We are continuing to pray that paperwork would start moving again so we can get some families down here to meet their kiddo’s!
– For the team here to have productive and meaningful time with the kids over the next two days before they leave. We also have two members of this team that has baggage that never made it from JFK. Prayers that we could get that sorted out before they fly back home on Wednesday.
– To continue meeting new people and making new connections. I’ve met a few people so far and I’m hoping to get lunch with a Carnegie Mellon connection in a couple weeks when she visits Haiti. They started a non-profit here that I’m hoping to learn more about.