Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Trip to the Village I

July 17, 2010

“Get down on the ground”, I yell to my sister Marieke, swinging beside me on the swing set. The earth rumbles and begins to shake with increasing intensity. Still swinging in full motion I half jump, half fall to the ground and roll over onto my stomach. I look around and see that we are in an open grassy field. As the shaking becomes stronger, fear grips me. I wake up sweating. Opening my eyes in my own bedroom the images of my dream begin to fade. Another earthquake nightmare. I sigh, roll over and hug my pillow tightly. Morning is dawning and the soft light filters through the cream colored curtains. How many more of these dreams will I have? I wonder. Every time I’m in a different place, with different people, but it always feels so real. According to my cousin Marin, who has studied psychology, these dreams are a good thing and a way that my brain is processing the experience. Might as well think positive I guess, but each time I wake up from one I feel drained. I lay quietly until ten minutes later Jason’s cell phone alarm goes off. Today we hope to fly to the village and there are still a lot of last minute things to do, so I carefully crawl out of bed. I quickly brush my teeth and get changed. Jason meanwhile has gotten out too, and is getting dressed in his pilot uniform. Once he’s dressed I smile at him. He sure looks handsome in his uniform! I go check on Jayden but notice that he is still sleeping. Willing him to wake up, I quickly change him, but he hardly stirs. Oh well, I guess I’ll go make some sandwiches for breakfast for us to eat in the car. Marin and Robert are up too, and when I reach the kitchen they are already preparing their sandwiches. With our bags packed the night before, it doesn’t take long for us to get ready and at 6:45 we are out the door. Now sitting in the car, Jayden is awake and hungry. “I want bread Mama, I want some bread.” I pull out his bread box and after he prays, he starts to eat. “I want more, Mama. Please, Mama.” He looks up at me, begging with his big blue eyes. “Alright”, I sigh, “you can eat some of mine”. I open my bread box and he begins to eat. “ You better save some for Mom,” I tell him. He looks at me for a moment and then hands me a small crust. I eat it, and then notice that the rest of the bread is already gone. “What happened to all Mommies’ bread?” I ask Jayden. “It’s in my tummy” he replies, smiling, patting his stomach. I laugh and tickle him. I guess he was hungry. I’m really not that hungry myself anyway, so I take a drink of my water bottle instead. Since it’s still early, the drive to the airport doesn’t take long and 15 minutes later we arrive at the domestic terminal. I notice the parking lot hasn’t changed as I help Jayden over the giant mud puddles. Inside, Jason fills out the manifest and then we head out through the doors to the tarmac. It’s Saturday and Jason’s first flight is to La Gonave. Not having enough seats available for all of us, he takes only Marin and Robert with him. I wait with Jayden in the MAF office and raid Jason’s candy supply. As Jayden reads his Thomas book, I take the opportunity to catch up on emails. Less than an hour later Jason, Marin and Robert are back and he now has time to drop us off in Pignon. I grab our carry on suitcase and purse and minutes later we are all seated in the Cessna 206. “I go in airplane! I fly to Grandpa’s house!” An excited Jayden bounces up and down on his seat. “I see Grandpa!”

“Not today Jayden” I gently tell him and give him a hug, but he’s not listening. He’s simply too excited. Giving up on trying to explain that we aren’t flying to Canada, I ready myself for takeoff.

Once the bags have been strapped down, our seat belts securely fastened, and Jason’s checklists completed, we taxi to the active runway. As the wheels pick up speed, I peer out of the window! I love the powerful feel of the aircraft as we lift off into the hazy blue sky.

It’s been six months since I’ve flown in one of the MAF airplanes and I always love the experience. I gaze down at Port au Prince below and only now do I see the full extent of the tent cities. Field after field of once vacant land has now become small towns of tents and tarps.

With a bird’s eye view, you can really see the changes everywhere. Before long Port au Prince
vanishes from view, giving way to rolling green and brown mountains.

As we fly further, clouds breeze past us and the ride gets a little more bumpy. Feeling myself get sick I reach up by my head for the sic sac. I fight the waves of nausea as I read the instructions on the paper sack. In case of motion sickness, focus on a stationary object ahead, it reads. I pick a mountain top and stare at it, willing my stomach to stop rolling. Slowly the sensation subsides. I look over at Jayden and he doesn’t seem affected at all. Since we are sitting in the tail section the bumps affect us the most. Looking towards the front of the plane I’m happy to note that no one else looks sick. When 10 minutes later, Pignon’s airstrip comes into sight, I’m relieved. I really need to get on the ground. As the airplane comes in for landing the ride becomes bumpy again. This time I really have to fight not to throw up, but I somehow manage not too. Once we’ve landed and my feet are back on solid ground I instantly feel better. People come to greet us and I smile and wave! It’s been a year now, since I’ve visited Pignon, and I’m excited about the weekend ahead! Jason quickly helps us unload the backpacks and our small suitcase before readying the aircraft for takeoff once again. He has a few more flights to do before joining us in Pignon. From the airstrip we make our way over to the MAF office and then carry our belongings to the newly built hotel, run by a friend of ours.

It wasn’t completed yet when we did language school in the village a year and a half ago, but it’s done now, and I’m looking forward to spending the next two nights here..


  1. I really do think that sometimes little Jayden should get his own way. If he wants to go to grandpa's so badly then, just let him!
    We do miss him and all you guys! Love from dad here in Mexico not that far from you.

  2. As Jayden says all the time that he needs to see grandpa to show him his ouwies and to go feed the horses, I think it would be best if grandpa came here for a visit. ;-)