Monday, March 23, 2009


I know many people have been waiting to hear what my parents and my sister Gloria think of Haiti but instead of trying to explain what they think, Gloria volunteered to write a blog entry herself. Here is her story.

We arrived last week Tuesday after 15 hours of travel. With a stopover in Los Angeles and then another in Miami we were relieved to finally step out of the large American Airlines airplane onto the tarmac of the Port au Prince International Airport. A heat wave hit us instantly so we were thankful when we stepped inside the air conditioned airport. A band of Haitian musicians were seated at the entrance of the arrival section and greeted us with their lively Caribbean style music. Soon after we had deplaned the suitcases came through an outside conveyor belt into a tiny little room. After about a half an hour we managed to find all 6 of our suitcases! We were glad since we were worried some would get misplaced during the two stopovers we had. Fortunately, Jason managed to get behind security with his pilot badge and was able to help us load up two carts with our suitcases. I was surprised that we had to pay for the suitcase cart, but I soon found out that everything in Haiti costs money. With a little negotiating from Jason with the security guards we slipped out of the airport only to be surrounded with a group of Haitian men competing to carry our bags. After tipping three men we loaded the suitcases in the back of the truck and were on our way to Jason and Will’s new home.
We couldn’t believe what we all saw during the drive to their home. Everything seemed chaotic. There were no stop signs or speed limits, in fact there appeared to be no rules at all. Cars dodged around each other narrowly missing one another and brightly coloured Tap Taps, (Haitian taxis) zigzagged haphazardly through traffic. Even more amazing was to see how many people fit on one Tap Tap. They crammed inside, squashed on top of each other, hung off the sides, and even sat on the roof. It was quite a sight! Horns could be heard everywhere. Apparently this was not due to road rage, but rather a common way of communicating between drivers. It could mean “watch out”, “I’m backing up”, “slow down”, or “get off the road”, It basically could mean anything depending on the situation. We also saw many people balancing amazing amounts of fruits, vegetables and market goods on their heads as they walked down the streets. Finally after an hour, we arrived at a large gate. Jason honked a special pattern and minutes later the gate was opened by Anoud, the caretaker of Jason and Will’s home. Anoud helped Jason bring the suitcases into the house for us, and then we started to unpack. We brought six suitcase packed full with not only our own clothes, but also clothes, underwear, toothbrushes, socks, toys, and pencil cases for the kids in the village, provided for by friends and family. Jason, Will and Jayden where very excited to see us, and also very happy with all the little treats from home, and the clothing and other articles they could hand out to the children in the villages.
After having lunch Jason, Dad, and I went to an American type grocery store to buy a few items we needed. Police with guns stood on the parking lot keeping a close eye on everyone that came. Once we bought what we needed a Haitian helped bring the groceries into the truck so he could earn some money too. Nothing is done for free here! Once we arrived back home it was time for supper. That night we all slept well and felt quite refreshed the next morning.
So refreshed in fact that Mom got right to work cleaning the kitchen cupboards! (She said they looked “vet” (Dutch for greasy)). I didn’t feel like cleaning (this is a holiday) so instead I spent some time exploring their place and playing with Jayden.
Once Jason was back from flying for the day we all piled into the truck and went off into town to buy paintings. The minute the sellers/painters saw us they crowded around us, and tried to make my dad pay very high prices for the paintings. Since Jason is a good bargainer and could speak Kreyol we got a little system going. Mom and Dad would pick out the painting that they liked and then walk away. Then minutes later Jason would go and negotiate a better price with them. Altogether we bought about 10 paintings so the painters were very happy with us. The next day we were invited by another MAF family to eat a real Haitian meal for supper. It included rice and beans (of course) and some type of beef stew, meliton and carrots. It sure was delicious!
Friday morning at 7 o’clock we were on our way to the beach. I was excited since I’ve seen some of Will’s pictures and the beach and hotel that we were planning to stay at for a night looked really nice. We were on our way for about an hour when suddenly a bus came right at us and pushed us off the road. Unfortunately the edge of the road was a ditch and with our car on a crazy tilt we were stuck in the mud. Traffic stopped around us and people joked and laughed when they saw our car. In minutes several friendly Haitians helped us push the vehicle back on the road and we were on our way once again. We avoided school buses as much as we could after that! Since a large dump truck/Tap Tap had tipped and blocked the only way to our destination we had to wait for awhile before that was cleared away. At least we found a little rocky beach to wait at, and we were able to collect a garbage bag full of beautiful shells. About ½ hour later we were able to continue on our way and we arrived at our hotel on the beach 20 minutes later. It was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. Palm trees swayed in the wind, the sand was white and soft, and the bright turquoise ocean beckoned us. We quickly put all our belongings in our little room and headed out to the beach. We built sand castles and went snorkeling and seen amazing fish in the coral reef. Because we had the beach basically to ourselves, we were bombarded by Haitians trying to sell their wares. They had more paintings, little soapstone statues, jewelry, exotic shells, and all kinds of other beautiful things. My parents bought a few more pictures and ordered a bunch of shell bracelets for the grandkids so that kept them busy for quite a while. At night we could see millions of twinkling stars and watched the wave’s crash against the shore. The next day we had a hearty breakfast and I was back in the water bright an early. In the morning the water was even clearer, so Will and I decided to go snorkeling again. Once we were underwater we could see the sun rays shine into the water. After we made our way through a beautiful maze of coral and looked at some exotic fish we decided to head back to the shore again. We found some nice comfy beach chairs and put them in the water were we nicely relaxed; trying our best to ignore the Haitian sellers. Since our checkout time was 3 o’clock, we made sure that we had everything packed by then. Our ride home was uneventful and we were happy to be safely home again.

Gloria’s story ends here on Saturday, but they still have till Thursday so I’m sure they will have more things to share. Both my parents are really enjoying themselves as well. Today they went on an MAF flight to a village called Hinche and Mom also went with Jason and I to the large “Mache” (Market). Maybe I’ll talk my Mom into writing an article. Hope you like the pictures.

Quick Update

Hello All!

Sorry for the delay! Just for a quick update, we are all doing well here and have adjusted to the city life in Haiti. Every day is full of new surprises and challenges, but the Lord has provided for our every need. Will's parents as well as her sister arrived last week for a 10 day visit. It was really nice to see them again - as well as all of the gifts that they brought along! Thanks everyone! We have been spending a little time showing them around Haiti, and today they are on a MAF flight into Hinche to see what that's like. We hope to post another update shortly, so keep checking! We also have a newsletter coming out this week.


~The Krul's~

Monday, March 9, 2009

In the air again!

Excitement rushed through my blood as i stepped into the Cessna 207 along with MAF Pilot Will White. I am finally doing what God has called us here to do! After all the years of training, preparation, and language school I am finally in the cockpit of an MAF airplane. Before I am able to begin flying on my own I need to get checked out on all of the operational airstrips here in Haiti, so I have been spending the last few days flying into little villages such as Jacmel, Hinche, Pignon, and the Island of La Gonave. As we fly over the open ocean to La Gonave, I gazed below at the beautiful blue ocean with the coral reefs hugging the coastline. I spotted some small rowboats below and couldn't help wonder how many hours of rowing it must take to get to the mainland! It is amazing to see first hand the impact that MAF is having on the ministry and missions in Haiti. From bringing work teams into Hinche and missionaries into La Gonave I was not only thrilled by the awesome feeling of flying again, but also encouraged by effectiveness and importance of MAF's work here in Haiti.

To view more photos of my daily flying routine go to

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Port au Prince

Where do I start? We’ve been back in Port-au-Prince for two weeks now and it feels like we’ve moved to an entirely different country (again!). Pignon, the village we lived in for three months, could be described as slow-paced, relaxed, primitive, open (people were always coming in and out of the camp), adventuresome and animal inhabited.

Port-au-Prince on the other hand is a BIG City. It’s 10 degrees hotter, the streets are crowded, it’s fast paced (except when you’re stuck in traffic), definitely less primitive, and the required security precautions makes meeting just any random person, less likely. It’s still adventurous and animal inhabited, (if you want to call cockroaches animals), but there really is no comparison between Port-au-Prince and Pignon.

So instead of trying to describe it all to you, which would take pages and pages, I’ll just start by telling you some of the things I like about living in Port-au-Prince. First all, Port-au-Prince has grocery stores (yeah!!), you can buy almost anything, and the main roads are paved!!! I love having our own home with a secure yard and even a tropical garden. I like the fact that Jayden finally gets his very own room, and even gets to sleep in a crib, (thanks to Grandma and Grandpa), no more pack-and-play! I love the fact that he has a gated play area between the kitchen and living room, and that I don’t have to watch him every second he’s awake in fear that he will escape out of the camp and walk to the river on his own, or that he’s eating dirty things off the ground, that will make him sick. I’m thrilled that I’m not getting eaten alive by mosquitoes all day and that I can go to the bathroom at night without worrying about stepping on any critters. I love working in our kitchen, which has a stove, oven, refrigerator and even a mini freezer. I like that we have tile floors, no more cement, and that I can walk around on bare feet inside rather then always having to wear shoes. There are just so many things I’m thankful for!

The village must have been really awful, you’re probably starting to think to yourself. How could anyone, have survived there? But, that’s not true! I loved living in the village, I met so many people, and learned so much! It also helped me appreciate things here in Port-au-Prince a lot more too. I believe God has a purpose for everything. The reasons WE went to the village for three months was to learn Creole and study the culture. Looking back now, I think there were more reasons then that! We needed some good lessons on “Appreciation and Thankfulness.” We would have missed some important lessons if we would have moved straight from Canada to Port-au-Prince and never experienced village life.

For example, food is expensive here, but at least we can buy it. Our roof in our house leaks, but it doesn’t bother me one bit. Jason and I just pull out all our Tupperware containers and place them strategically under the drips. Coming from Canada, I might have been disturbed, but now that I’ve lived in the village, a few leaks, who cares? Our house has geckos and cockroaches, sounds terrible doesn’t it? But at least it doesn’t have bats, rats, and tarantulas. Give me cute little mosquito eating lizards and cockroaches any day. Anyone reading this may think, “Wow, what happened to her,” but you’ve never lived in the village, have you? So like I said, I believe God has a purpose for everything, and I am ever so thankful for what we have and how richly he has blessed us.