After long delay, we have finally reached the end of our marathon of an itinerary and arrived in Haiti! Early Friday morning, after many hours of waiting, we learned that our original flight out of Reagan National was cancelled due to the blizzard conditions of Boston (where our plane was coming from).
We checked into the Hampton Inn nearby to ensure a decent night of rest before another extended travel day. The next morning, we slowly got ready, took advantage of the late checkout and then parked ourselves at the mall to wait for our 9:40pm flight. I took full advantage of the downtime by getting a MUCH overdue haircut and picking up a few last minute travel items. Thankfully, our flight out of Reagan went off without issue the second time around.
We arrived into Ft. Lauderdale around 12:15AM Saturday morning. Here we camped out in the terminal for our 4-5 hr overnight layover... Fun stuff! I found myself curled up under a row of seats using everything possible to stay comfy and catch some shut eye.
4:30AM rolled around and we made our way through security again to prepare for our 2nd of 3 flights: Ft. Lauderdale to Port au Prince. We were all pretty tired grumpy, and ready to JUST BE THERE ALREADY... The smiles are mainly because we had another soft seat to rest in!!
Thankfully, our travel went very quickly and smoothly from this point forward. Everything was set up by our hosting organization, Community Coalition for Haiti, upon our arrival to PAP and we made our way from the baggage claim to our final plane, a private, personally operated 8 seater. Our pilot, Michael, was pretty awesome and made sure to give us a picturesque, up close view of the countryside and mountains as we flew.
Port au Prince from the air
The mountains of Haiti
A short truck ride later, we had FINALLY arrived at our destination: the Isaiah 61 house.
The afternoon was about orientation, eating up, resting and generally settling in before taking a tour of Jacmel. Our leader down here is Laura, and her passion for the people and projects is simply incredible! She took us on a tour of the clinic at which we'll be serving, two of the homes built through CCH, the art distric and the beachfront. As tired as I was, it was incredibly soothing to sit in the back of the truck soaking up the warm breeze as we rode. It's amazing what some sunshine and fresh air will do for your soul!
The CCH clinic!
Sunday will be another day of adjustment and orientation. We are attending church in the morning and then will be visiting the beach in the afternoon. Meanwhile, we'll be solidifying our assignments and working plans for next week. Half of the SU team will be working at the mobile clinic in Mt. Fleury and half at the CCH clinic. I will be floating to help where I'm needed most, but hopefully also collaborating on a meal plan for a new children's orphanage, providing nutrition education to those at the mobile clinic and maybe even teaching a class at the local school. Already it feels as if our time here will be too short!
Prayers of rest for the team and that we will use our time effectively to serve the people would be appreciated!