Thursday, January 1, 2009

Back to the Village

Beep, beep, beep. Jason's’ cell phone alarm rings softly, waking me instantly. (Although we brought digital, plug in the wall alarm clocks, because of the uneven electrical waves, they don’t keep the right time, imagine that!) It’s 5:00 a.m. and I remember immediately that today is the day we go back to the village. I jump out of bed, wide awake and ready to work! We have exactly 1 hour to get our last minute things done! Although we had packed the night before, there are certain things that we can’t do till just before we leave. “Jason, time to get up!” I yell cheerily from the bathroom. He groans and rolls over. “I’m so tired,” he moans. “Come on, there’s a lot that needs to get done and we will need our whole hour to get ready.” He stumbles out of bed and gets changed. I’m already dressed, so I quickly make some breakfast, and then get to work emptying the contents of our refrigerator into cooler boxes. In the meantime, Jason gets to work disconnecting the batteries that supply our home with electricity when there isn’t any city power (which is most of the time). Then he turns off the hot water pump, disconnects all cables and wires that run to our computer and gets to work locking and barring up our house to keep it secure while we are finishing our language school in Pignon. Working furiously we are ready to go in exactly an hour. By now we’ve packed up so many times we really are pros at it! It’s still dark as we pull out of our driveway, and I take one last look at our home. In the past two weeks we were able to install our last appliances, set up our remaining furniture and do all the finishing touches that make our place feel like home. Now mixed emotions churn through me. I really, really like our new home in Port-au-Prince and part of me is looking forward to living a normal life there (as normal as it can be in Haiti, anyway). But the other part of me is looking forward to going back to the village where every moment is an adventure and you never knew what is going to happen next. No time for nostalgia. I mentally shake myself and focus on the bumpy road in front of us as I cuddle a sleepy Jayden on my lap. Minutes later we arrive at the Edgertons house and help them load their things into the vehicle. Then off to the airport we go. The sun is just coming up and it fills the sky with shades of pink and purple. Dark silhouettes of palm trees touch the heavens and I marvel at the beauty of God’s creation. The streets around us are surprisingly quiet. A drive that normally takes a least 45 minutes, due to heavy traffic takes us only 15. Soon we arrive at the airport and go through “security”. We load our bags onto a conveyor belt and walk through a metal detector. Jennifer gets her scissors taken away, but minutes later the security officer comes back with them and slips them into one of our bigger suitcase. We then all get weighed and so does our luggage. Because food is so limited in Pignon we’ve stocked up in Port-au-Prince. We soon realize that not everything will fit on this flight. We quickly separate our things and leave several boxes behind. Then everything else is loaded on a cart and brought to the waiting MAF airplane. Several Haitian nationals employed by MAF get to work on the weight and balance and figure out who sits where and what goes where to make the flight as balanced as possible. At the end everything still doesn’t fit. “We can probably do without most of the stuff in our suitcase,” I volunteer. “That’s great”, Michael a fellow MAF pilot says and I get to work. I quickly grab out Jayden’s mosquito net, our language books and some clothes . Just then a large airplane nearby starts up her engine right in front of us and the bag that I’d been holding in my hand gets blown away. Jason catches it and gives it back to me. Relieved I notice that my underwear is nicely secured under our heavy Kreyol language learning books. It would be a little embarrassing chasing underwear down the tarmac! I smile to myself, zip up our suitcase and prepare to board. The Cessna 207 is definitely full! With 7 passengers plus Jayden on Jason’s lap every seat is used up, and the cargo holds are full of suitcases, and cooler boxes. Because of the weight and balance, Jayden has to sit on Jason’s lap and although he complains a little at first, he settles down quickly. I smile and then sit back to enjoy a relaxing flight without a monkey on my lap. As we fly clouds begin to thicken around us and Michael makes a decision to fly underneath them. We hug the mountain side and we enjoy the view. We can even see individual tree leaves so we’re down pretty low. A half an hour later Pignon’s airstrip comes into view and Michael slows down and makes a perfect landing. We’re back in the village!

1 comment:

  1. Just think...every move you make is one move closer to you finally being settled down in your home. We wish you the LORD's blessing, help, and guidance in this your last leg of language training. We pray for the Lord's blessing over you in this new year. May the words of Hebrews 13:5b be your comfort and experience in 2009.