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!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you guys had a great time! I love the picture where Jayden is sleeping in the plane! Looking forward to seeing you guys in a few weeks! :)