Friday, November 14, 2014

Six Years Ago

November 4, 1998 

I stare out the airplane window. It’s been over thirty hours since I last slept and I feel dazed. Thankfully, Jayden, my one-year-old son, who is curled up on my lap, is getting some sleep. Forcing myself to stay focused I keep my eyes pealed to the steadily changing terrain beneath us.

Any moment now I will catch my first glimpses of Haiti. There it is! Turquoise ocean laps against sandy beaches. Coming closer, the barrenness of the mountains strikes me. Circling over Port au Prince I catch glimpses of tin shacks, trash and bare earth.


Jayden wakes up just as we are about to land and we both feel the thud of the wheels as the aircraft makes contact with the runway.It takes a bit of time to gather our things, but with the help of a friendly stewardess we finally make our way to the front of the aircraft.

Since the international airport has no jet ways, a metal stairs is rolled to the entrance of the aircraft. As we exit, we are engulfed by a sticky wave of hot, humid air. Jayden begins to cry and I do my best to soothe him.

After waiting for 20 minutes on the hot tarmac, the stroller, which I had gate checked, finally appears and we are ready to head to the international terminal building. 

The MAF program manager, Mark Williams, becoming worried at our delay, meets us where we enter the building. Inside we walk past Haitian men playing Caribbean music, before passing through Customs and Immigration. 

At the baggage claim it becomes evident that two of our suitcases are missing. Thankfully, we eventually find them. Mark Williams then guides us through the crowd and we make our way outside to where Jason is anxiously waiting for us. (He had arrived in Port au Prince several days earlier since he travelled on a cargo plane with all our belongings.)  We were glad to be reunited once again!

The drive through the streets of Port-au-Prince to our home was sure an experience! The roads were full of people, animals, busses, parked cars, tap taps, and garbage.

The roads themselves, if you could call them that, had huge dips and holes and many of them more closely resembled dry river beds.  As we drove it seemed like we had many 'narrow misses' with other vehicles and pedestrians. 

Our first stop was the house MAF had found for us to live. We were surprised and excited to see that it was very nice! We met Anoud and Denise and their two boys who were living on the property.

(Denise told me later that when she met us for the first time she though Jayden was our younger brother and wondered where our parents where!) I guess we did look young and at age twenty two and twenty three we were young!

Looking back now, I can’t help but think about all the life lessons we’ve learned since then.  I’ve started writing them down and hope to share some of them on the blog in the future, God willing.

1 comment:

  1. This blog update was a surprise to us.
    Looking back on 6 years we can only say that God has been so faithful in his care toward you and the family.
    You have been blessed and have been a blessing there!
    We have enjoyed our many visits and look forward to seeing you again soon!
    God bless.