Thursday, October 30, 2008

In Haiti!

Well, after a long day of traveling, I'm finally in Port au Prince!

I woke up at 5:00 AM this morning and drove to the Fort Pierce Airport to catch my flight with Missionary Flights International. After checking in my baggage, I boarded the WW2 era DC-3 and the adrenaline finally hit me - IM GOING TO HAITI! I had spend so much time thinking about packing, US Customs, and the long drive that i didn't have time to get excited. We had a 2 hour flight into the Bahamas where we stopped for fuel and best of all - a Bahamian Breakfast! From there we flew 1 hour into Cap Haitien International Airport in Northern Haiti. As we descended through the tower cumulus clouds I was immediately struck with the sight of the immense poverty below! It felt like i was descending into completely different world, but I was stunned by the contrast of the beautiful Caribbean beaches surrounding such a poverty stricken nation! I stepped out of the cool aircraft and onto the hot humid tarmac. Sweat began running down my body and i felt as though i was in a sauna. I walked into the terminal and up to the immigration desk fearing the worst, but they simply took my passport and stamped it without so much as a glance at me! From there I re boarded the DC-3 and flew to Port au Prince. Again i was shocked by the poverty, deforestation, but also the natural beauty I stared at below. After we landed in Port au Prince, I was escorted by a Haitian security guard hired by MAF, and bypassed all line ups, and simply waved through customs. All 60 of our Rubbermaid containers, boxes and other personal items came all at once through the baggage claim area, so we worked like crazy to load it all on baggage carts. After showing Haitian customs my inventory list, and having a Haitian friend talk to the officer, we were waved through customs again with paying a penny! We loaded everything onto a large flatbed truck, and i experienced Haitian driving first hand - NO RULES! We weaved in and out of traffic, but were stopped by the police. The police officer argued with my Haitian driver and others in Creole, so i have no idea what they were saying, but I knew that the officer was just looking for a bribe! After a 10 minute argument, we simply drove off. We off loaded everything at my new place, and settled down for the evening. Its been a long journey - but Im finally here thanks to your support!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Day 8

Monday, 6:00 AM

1400 KM
13.5 Hrs

We got up bright and early this morning so we could hit the road at 6 AM. Still half asleep, I stumbled into the passenger seat and slept for another hour on the road. Our 13.5 hour drive took us through the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, a quick dip into Alabama, through the busy streets of Atlanta, Georgia, and finally, to our much awaited destination - Fort Pierce Florida!! Praise the Lord for our traveling mercies driving over:

- 65 hours
- 6500 KM
- Across 17 States including: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.

Day 7

Sunday: Clarksville Tennessee

120 KM
1.75 Hrs

You don't really thank God for a day of rest until you realize how much you need it! Spending most of this week in a truck has proved to be fairly draining. On Sunday morning I attended Todd's Church in Clarksville, Tennessee which I really enjoyed! The Pastor's message was on how to discern God's Call in your life, which proved to be a very applicable theme. After church, and a short rest after lunch, we packed up and drove to Todd's brother's house in Nashville, TN.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Day 6

Saturday, 8:00 AM

980 KM
9.5 hrs

We left Lees Summit, Missouri at 8:00 AM, and it was another day on the road. Fortunately this was one of our shorter days, so we took it easy. We were doing great for time until we hit St. Louis, Illinois and the highway was shut down with no detour routes. We struggled through what seemed like rush hour traffic until we were back on our way down to Clarksville, Tennessee. It was a beautiful drive through Missouri, Illinois, the Arkansas' Ozarks, over the Mississippi River, past Steven Curtis Chapman's house in Paducah, Kentucky, and finally to Clarksville Tennessee.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Day 5

Friday, 7:30 AM

1200 KM
11 Hrs

We departed Cheyenne, Wyoming at 7:30 AM for yet another day of driving! I cannot believe how big this continent is!! Just when you think you've reached the horizon, the rolling hills of desolation continue for as far as the eye can see. We drove through Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri, and let me tell you right now - They all look the Same! We arrived at Todd's cousin's place in Lees Summit, Missouri at around 9:30 PM.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Day 4

Thursday, 7:00 AM

1300 KM
14 Hrs

At 7 AM Todd and I left Nampa, Idaho for Cheyenne, Wyoming. It was a very scenic drive through Salt Lake, Utah, and most of Wyoming state! At 9:30 PM, after more than 14hrs of driving we wearily stopped for some dinner and got a hotel for the night.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Day 3


I got to spent most of the day with Dad at the MAF HQ in Nampa. I had the day to rest a bit, finish some odds and ends and then drop Dad off at the airport in Boise, ID. After that, I got the privilege of experiencing packing/loading all over again as I went over to Todd Edgerton's place to help him pack and load. The Edgertons are another MAF family who are also moving to Haiti the same time as us, so I plan to share the drive down to Florida with Todd.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Day 2

Tuesday, 4:30 AM

1100 KM
12 Hrs

Dad and I left Chilliwack bright and early for Nampa Idaho. As expected, we got stopped at the US border, but after about 45 minutes of answering questions, cross-examination, and reviewing paperwork, we were let across! We drove 12 hrs through Washington, Oregon, and finally arrived in Nampa Idaho at 6:30 PM. It sure was nice to have Dad along to share the drive with!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Day 1

Monday, 7:00 AM:

190 KM
3 hrs

I left Chilliwack, BC to Bellingham, WA to pick up our 23ft Penske truck that we would later load half full of our personal belongings and furniture. No problems at the US border - Praise the Lord. After driving it back to Chilliwack, we spent the rest of the day/night packing and loading the truck.

On the move ...

Hello All!
As most of you know, we have begun our move to Haiti, but not without A LOT of driving first! The above map shows our route across the USA to Fort Pierce Florida, where Jason will catch a cargo flight to Port au Prince Haiti, and I along with Jayden will join him there via an airline flight.

(flags mark our stops)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Desert Evening

The Goodbye Desert evening on Saturday was a great success! We want to thank everyone for coming and for sharing this special time with us. We also want to thank all those who helped plan, organize, bake and set up. We will treasure these memories!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cultural Dinner

Here's a picture of us with our dear friend Pastor James Yang, his wife and his neighbors as well. Last night as part of our class we had to participate in a inter-cultural dinner experience. We were assigned to spend the evening with Pastor James and his wife to experience a Taiwanese dinner. He evidently invited his neighbors as well, so we got a little American culture too! Tofu, peppered shrimp and Chinese green tea were the new foods for us.

Im now sitting in the Boise airport waiting to take off to return home to Chilliwack. See y'all at the dessert social tomorrow evening!

Monday, October 13, 2008

MAF's Relief Work in Haiti

Here's a short video clip from a local TV station showing the impact of MAF's Relief work in Haiti! Check it out...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Final Week Of Orientation

Fall Orientation Class of 2008

This is our last week of classes here at MAF before we finally leave for the field! Last week we had seminars on Dealing with Spiritual Warfare, Keeping Yourself Spiritually fit on the Field, Safeguarding your Children, Healthy living, MAF Security, and much more! It has definitely been a busy week of profitable learning. As I mentioned before, this is our last week here in Nampa, and on Friday we travel back to Chilliwack for the weekend. If you have not recieved our invitation some way or another, you are invited to our Farewell Dessert Social to come say goodbye before we head off to Haiti! The details are listed below.

When: Saturday, October 18th Open House between 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Where: Chilliwack Free Reformed Church

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Back from the Backcountry

Im officially done with MAF Flight Standardization! After over 5 weeks of flying, I have been approved for field service. As many of you know, I have just come back from a one week Idaho Backcountry trip, where we were required to put to use every skill that we have aquired over the past few weeks! Landing on some of the shortest, ugliest strips out there was some pretty good preparation for whats to come.

Here are a few highlights of our trip:

Landing at Mackay Bar

Landing at Allison Ranch

Navigating through the Cascade Mountains

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Crazy Day

The morning started good... I was up early and finished all my last minute packing, although the packing did take a little longer then expected. Since Jayden and I were taking a domestic flight from Bellingham to Boise Idaho, and we hadn't payed for a seat for Jayden we only could take one bag for the two of us. I think I repacked the suitcase about six times, before I only had the "real essentials" in and could close the zipper. Anyway, I had enough time to tidy everything and I put Jayden down for his morning nap early, but I think he spotted the suitcases so he was much to excited to sleep. We were picked up on time by my sister-in-law, and the drive across the border was pretty uneventful. The customs officer hummed and hawed a little but let us across anyway. Well at 12:30 we were about 15 minutes away from the Bellingham airport, according to our GPS, so we decided to quickly stop by McDonald's to grab a bite to eat. At 12:45 we were back on the road. Unfortunately the 15 minute drive to the airport soon grew to 45 minutes and we were still not there. Construction on the road, heavy traffic and having to stop at every single red light all contributed to the delay. At this point, I started getting worried. I really did not want to miss that flight. When we finally arrived at the Bellingham airport there was no parking upfront so we just parked in the middle of the road. Some people honked but at that point we didn't care. I jumped out, grabbed my suitcase, Jayden's bedroll, diaper bag, purse, laptop case, stroller and Jayden and stumbled through the door. My sister-in-law after finally finding a parking spot came running after me. "Well, I don't know if you'll make the flight", the lady behind the desk said, as she frowned at me. "Well, I'm going to try I said, as I hastily threw my bulging suitcase on the scale. At least it wasn't overweight! She gave me my boarding pass back and off I raced to the security gate. I gave my sister-in-law and niece a quick hug and then I stumbled on. The security guy wanted to chat and asked how me and my little brother were doing today. A little annoyed I brushed past him (come on, I'm 22, Jayden's not my little brother!). Then I started frantically throwing my things on the conveyor belt so they could be X-rayed. No one offered to help. All 5 of the security people just stood there and stared! I quickly unzipped my laptop bag, took of my shoes and Jayden shoes, collapsed the stroller while holding Jayden's hand so he wouldn't run away, and threw his blankie and Coco his doggie into one of the bins. Then to make matters worse, they made me empty my entire diaper bag that I had packed so meticulously and was bulging with everything I needed for Jayden on the flight. At that point I didn't care anymore, I just dumped it out in a bin, grabbed Jayden and raced through the metal detector. Then I slipped my flip flops back on and crammed everything I could back into the diaper bag. The security gaurd watching me said "I bet you didn't think about all this before you had him". I guess he thought I was this single teenage mom or something. Just then I heard my name over the loudspeaker. "Horizon Air is paging Crawl Willona" Laughing I raced across the tarmac looking back every few seconds to make sure I hadn't dropped anything. Then we ran into a new predicament. I had to collapse the stroller while holding Jayden and all my stuff. Well I managed, but Coco, Jaydens doggie and my purse both landed in a puddle. Anyway, I made it on the plane just seconds before they closed the door. Phew, we made it! From then on the trip was uneventful, Jayden was very well behaved in the plane and we arrived safely and on time in Boise, Idaho. Jason was waiting for us so we had a happy ending to a crazy day.