Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Muddy rain water splashes upward as Dieucon manoeuvres the Suzuki over the sorry excuse for a street.

“Do Canada’s roads look like this too?” He turns to look at me and I grin. “Not really.”

How do you describe the differences in infrastructure to someone who’s never been outside of Haiti? I stop and mull it over in my mind before finally replying.

“It’s hard to picture if you haven’t seen it before. The roads are paved and clearly marked; there are sidewalks, speed limits, traffic lights, highways, overpasses, bridges, and tunnels. You just have to see it for yourself sometime.”

He nods and then turns sharply to avoid a serious pothole.

Traffic had come to a standstill on the main roads so we now snake our way through narrow side streets.

I turn to check the backseat and see Jayden absorbed in a Berenstain Bear Book. “I like bumpy roads, I like bumpy roads,” he sings as he rocks back and forth.

50 minutes later we finally reach our destination. I thank Dieucon for the ride and then grab our backpacks and bags out of the backseat. Unhooking Jayden’s seat belt I strap on his backpack and together we make our way to the domestic terminal.

Opening the door to the waiting security scanner I brace myself for whatever battle may lay ahead. With the dessert fork incident still fresh in my mind and then the last time where they begged and cajoled for me to gift them my pepper spray, I brace myself for combat.

No worries this time though. I breathe a sigh of relief as they scan our bags and wave us through.

Walking to the MAF front office curious stares are cast our way. A pregnant white girl with a hyper four-year old seems kind of out of place here I guess. Ignoring the stares I lift my head and drag the protesting Jayden into the office. He’s always trying to run off in some other direction.

Inside Gary greets us and then proceeds to weigh us and our bags and fill out a manifest. As soon as he’s finished we head through the terminal to the tarmac. Today is the day we’ll be flying to Jacmel!

An hour and a half later when Jason and a friend of ours, John Pipkin, have completed their flights for the day we head out to the airplane.

John and his wife Joyce come down regularly to Haiti to volunteer with MAF and today they are celebrating their 23rd anniversary. As their 'adopted' kids they invited us to join them in Jacmel for a few days.

Now peering out through the window I watch as the sprawling city of Port au Prince slowly disappears from view.

We head towards the coast and from my vantage point I can see the skeletons of sunken ships nestled against the reefs below. What’s their story I wonder?

Looking back I see that Jayden has fallen asleep. All that running around this morning must have tired him out!

Twelve minutes later the coastal town of Jacmel comes into view. It’s beautiful!

John lands smoothly on the paved runway and we then taxi to the terminal. It’s brand new, built in anticipation of the tourism industry that has yet to come.

Since there are no taxis and John and Joyce don’t feel comfortable riding motorcycles one of the airport officials calls a friend. He shows up 10 minutes later in a little white beater car.

Laughing we all pile in.

A few minutes later we arrive at Cap Lamandou. It’s a beautiful hotel on the bluffs with a great view of the Caribbean below.

After depositing our bags in our hotel rooms we lounge in the pool as the sun sets.

The following day, after a gorgeous sunrise, we spend some time soaking in God’s beautiful creation.

Jacmel truly is a beautiful place!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Goodbye Team!

Thanks for your hard work and turning this..

into 7 new homes for earthquake refugees!

May God grant safe travels and hope to see you all again soon!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Glimpses of Monday

Jingle, creak, groan. I hang on for dear life as the old U-haul truck barrels over the rutted road. The teens and Jayden sit on the back ledge as the rest of us hold onto side bars.

We arrive at the job site several minutes later and I take photo's as several team members discuss the plans for today.

The girls get right to work painting. So far things are progressing really well.

A donkey grazing at the job site soon becomes a popular photo op as some of the Haitian workers want to pose with it and Jayden.

It’s all about working together and it’s encouraging to see how well it goes.

Hearing the hum of an airplane, I look up at the cloudy sky to see Jason flying overhead.

The weather is perfect for working, not too hot or humid today.

Jayden makes friends with a little boy called Jimmy and together we go exploring.

We follow a narrow path unsure of where it will take us.

On the trail we meet two baby goats and their Mama.

On a bluff overlooking the river we take a break.

From our vantage point we have a great view of what's happening down below.

We follow the trail to the main road and then make our way to the air strip where Mark and James are mowing. We spy on Mark through a gap in the cactus fence.

The village is full of animals and on the way to the airport gate we meet a giant black pig

and a pack horse.

The grass that hasn’t been cut yet is very high and the two boys have fun running through it.

Jayden goes for a ride on the mower. He loves it!

James drives up several minutes later on his mower since he had problems getting it started.

Back at the job site the team continues to work hard.

Jayden finds a perfect place to play on a giant mountain of dirt.

He soon makes new friends who help him plant trees on the 'deforested' mountain.

At 1:00 p.m. Jason flies in to pick up Jayden and I and several other passengers.

Circling over the job site we can see the progress that has been made since Saturday.

Sunday in the Village

5:30 a.m.
Meee, Meee. Cock a doodle do. I stir and sit up in the semi darkness. The screened window opening does nothing to block out the village noises so I just sit for a moment and listen.

“Mom, Mom!” Jayden’s awake too and slides out of his narrow bunk on the opposite side of the room. I look over at the other corner where Jason is still sleeping soundly.

“Shhh Jay, Daddy’s still sleeping.”

I quietly help Jayden get changed and slip on his shoes and then we head outside into the early morning coolness. A light mist hovers over the compound.

Camera in hand, we explore the premises.

I turn to snap a picture of the guesthouse where we are staying.

Then we follow the trail past a beautiful hibiscus bush.

A couple of guinea hens look up curiously as we pass.

Further down the path the church comes into sight. It’s a fairly new church plant, and it’s where we will be attending later this morning.

Finishing our tour we walk back to the camp for a breakfast of bread and cinnamon buns. By now everyone’s awake and I laugh as I watch them stretch and yawn. Haiti mornings are always early.

Church starts at 8:00 so at ten to eight we all walk over. When we arrive, the benches are only half full, but it’s interesting to watch as more and more people come as the service progresses.

I find a back bench to sit with Jayden, and am soon joined by two and then five and then 8 other children. The bench that comfortably fits 8 soon proudly boasts 13!

The singing last for the first hour, and it’s beautiful to listen too. After that Jayden starts to fidget badly, partly from being so squished and partly from being tired, so I decide to take him back to the guesthouse. These last few days have been really busy so I lay him down for awhile. He doesn’t complain as I pull off his shoes and cover him with a sheet.

Church is over an hour later and the team decides to go for a walk before lunch. On their walk they see voodoo caves, altars and even a skull.

After a delicious lunch of pate,a Haitian meat pie, and an hour afternoon rest it’s time to drive back to the other mission for the evening service there.