Saturday, August 30, 2014

Haiti 2014 {Traveling}

I was blessed earlier this summer to go on a week long trip to Haiti.  I had been praying for an opportunity to go on a missions trip since November/December and a friend told me about this trip around February.  I thought and prayed about it and decided I would look more into it. I knew that doors had to be opened for me to go (finances, getting off work...).  It amazed how God really showed me this is what I was supposed to do.

I went through Rebel Ministries and while we were in Haiti we stayed at Mission of Hope.  If your church or family or just you is looking to do some missions down in Haiti, I highly recommend this organization.

We had a group of 40 going, I believe the youngest was 8 and then we had middle aged adults going.  It was a really nice age range.  One concern I had before we left was not getting to know people very well.  I'm not a people person by any means and getting to know new people is not my forte.  Before we left, I only knew like 4 people on the trip.  A good friend of mine went and then we had done some small group stuff before we left.  I can't believe how close our group got in just a week!  That was definitely a God thing.

We left around one o'clockish the morning of June 25 to head up to Detroit (about 2 1/2 hours).  We got a charter bus, so super comfy seats + no sleep the past couple of days = Esther sleeps the whole way there.  So when we got to the airport it was around 3:30 ish.  We got into the airport and there is absolutely no one there, but a couple of security guards.  Come to find out the airport doesn't actually open until 5.  Who knew airports actually closed???  So we just chilled out in the lobby for an hour and a half.


Our travel group {Me, Scotty, Michelle}
We were divided into 10 travel groups (so groups of 4), so that way our leader only had to keep track of 10 people instead of 40 :)  My travel group had my friend and me then a father and son.  I loved our group!  The travel groups stuck together in the airports and when we went through customs.




The airport looked like a prison.  It had barb wire surrounding it.

We got to Port-au-Prince in the afternoon and spent forever trying to get out of the airport parking lot.  It was extremely crowded and we pretty much got stuck in a traffic jam.  Our bus driver was amazing though and was able to get us out.  There were a ton of people just outside the airport watching as people came out because they had absolutely nothing else to do.  That was their entertainment for the day.



Since our group was so big, we rode in school buses the whole week.  We also had a group of 5 from Delaware with us, then all our translators, village champions, and interns.  Most of the time, there were seats missing on the bus, so some of us had to stand while traveling.  Haitian driving is nothing like American driving!  The only time I had to stand was on the way back to the airport, so the roads were slightly smoother than in the village.


Those little blue dots are tents.  They're just tarps on a crude frame of sorts

Once we were finally able to get on the road from the airport, it was about an hour drive to the mission.  It was definitely a culture shock.  There was trash everywhere.  Cars were honking constantly, people were yelling, the smells were different (and not good ones).  On the way we were able to see in the distance tent cities.  That was really hard for me to see.  They were using tarps the same size as the ones we use to cover hay here at home.  People actually live under those and here they're just used to cover our material possessions.

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