Sunday, March 14, 2010

Haiti Journal 3/14/2010

I feel lots better after a good nights rest. It's about 6:50am and the only people in the house awake are me and Dr. Call.

I just decided to come sit outside because it is so HOT!  And, even hotter inside.  My thermometer says it is 75 degrees. 

We arrived in PAP yesterday morning around 10:00am.  The plane landed, went to the end of the runway, did a 180 degree turn and went back to the one asphalt strip that runs perpindicular to the runway which takes you to the terminal.  You get out of the plane and you are immediately in the terminal.  You go down an escalator, where you wait in line to board a bus that takes you one building over to customs.  This building is where you show your passport and have it stamped.  Then, you go get a car from $2 and THEN, the fun begins!

Getting your luggage is hilarious.  They just bring it over in the luggage trains and it all gets put on the floor and you go hunt for yours.  When you (or in our case, your group) have all of your luggage, you proceed through customs.  We had customs officials offer to help us (for a small fee) and we breezed right through!

There were the luggage guys hired by Healing Hands waiting for us outside the airport who took our carts but you stay by yours.  We went across the street where the two drivers were waiting, got the luggage guys paid and were on our way.  It was complete and utter chaos from the time we landed until we got in the van and I absolutely loved it!  I would like to fly in again, just to be able to pay more attention to what was going on!

We then drove through PAP to the compound.  It looked as I expected and I was surprised that I didn't find it more shocking in person.  I did feel a little weird taking photos out of the van window.  Makes me wonder what these people think of me.

We arrived at the HHH compound, unloaded the bags from the vans, chose beds and then took a tour.  The guest house itself if quite large and very nice.  I am sleeping on the very top floor in a room with five other girls.  Every room has it's own bathroom. 

We walked around the grounds and as soon as they kids see you walking around, they all come running.  They are so cute and they just want attention (and candy and money and something to eat and some of your water!).  They nothing but literally their clothes and some of them don't have shoes.  I believe that they see us for what we are...people who want to help...but they also understand when you tell them, no, we don't have any shoes.  They are so used to not having anything.

The rest of the day was spent helping others unpack as they arrived and then we had a team meeting at 6:30.  We talked about the next day and then headed for bed.  I showered, which felt GREAT, sent a couple of emails and as soon as they lights were out, I fell asleep.  A rooster woke me up a few times in the night but I mostly slept and was even cool enough to turn off my fan this morning!

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