Haiti (day 1: arrival)
After an uneventful (but very early) flight to Port-au-Prince, we got a ride to Walls Guest House, our home base for the week. After a quick unload of twenty -something fifty pound duffles full of supplies, we rode over to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church to attend the Saturday program, which members from our church support.
It was so good to see our friend Lophane, Pastor Josie and his wife Elise, and listen to the voices of over 160 children in attendance. We also helped serve lunch, then we headed out to a small pizza/burger place for lunch.
Back at Walls, we were able to catch a nap and relax a little. After a supper of noodles and sauce, we met to go over our plan for the week.
Our team comes from all over the U. S. from teens to retired, some medical providers, some not. Some wide-eyed first timers in Haiti; others have been here eight times or more.
When we stepped out of the airport today, Lisa and I both thought, “This feels like Haiti.” What’s that mean? It’s hard to say. The air is filled with a smoky, musty, diesel-exhaust smell, Bougenvillas in full bloom are tumbling over every wall and fence, and the ever present sound of car horns fills the air. It’s been five years since my last trip, but it feels familiar.
The streets are lined with a strange mix of new construction, buildings in disrepair and make shift home in every nook and cranny. We were told that ecause of inflation, things are actually worse here. Last year’s twenty-dollar bag of rice for the Saturday program now costs $35.
Church tomorrow, then we sort and organize all our supplies for Monday’s clinic.