Friday, September 10, 2010

Day One in Haiti

Today was a long day of travel, and a full day in Haiti.

Click HERE for today's photos.

Our full team connected for the first time on the flight from Miami to Haiti. We arrived in Port O Prince this morning around 7:30 a.m., and were pleasantly surprised to find out that our luggage made it as well. It was a hot, sweaty effort rounding up all our bags and dragging them to our awaiting truck and vans.

From there we meandered through the streets of Port O Prince, witnessing firsthand the devastating effects of the earthquake. Tent cities occupy nearly every empty space in the city and piles of rubble remain on every block. There is obvious evidence of the efforts that are going on to clear the rubble, one lot at a time.

The drive to Jacmel reminded me of what one would expect from a description of one of the world’s most dangerous drives. We took a one lane highway up a very curvy and hilly pass, dodging on coming traffic, mudslides on the road, pedestrians and livestock. My vantage point was from the top of the cargo truck where I also had more sun then I wanted.

The drive was three and a half hours. We arrived at our lodging and had a quick lunch. We had not had breakfast, so we were all hungry and very hot from the drive (no air conditioning). After getting our room assignments we loaded into the back of two trucks and made our way to the orphanage for the first time.

A steady rain began to fall, much to the chagrin or the delight of those in the back of the open pick up.
The children applauded us as we made it up the gnarly mud road to their property. The conditions at the orphanage were a little shocking – they are making the most of what they have, but their lack of a good building has resulted in poor conditions for their temporary scenario. We played with the children, met the workers there, and planned for the construction project.

Haiti is different from other places I have visited in that the poverty is consistently evident everywhere we have been. I didn’t see any nice malls, homes or stores. It was clear that not only is this the third poorest country in world, but it also recently experienced a devastating natural disaster.

Tomorrow we will have our first full day of work! We are eager to do what we can to help and to extend the love of Christ. For tonight, everyone is eager to get a good sleep.


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