I left Halifax Friday morning after a bad drive from Kentville with Kim. It was storming very bad. We were late leaving Halifax because we had to wait an hour in line to de-ice. It was a good that I had a 4 hour lay over in Toronto. I retrieved my bag at US Customs and filled out my form. I got in line and when I told him how much money I was carrying he stamped my form and took me to secondary screening. I waited an hour and then was told I had to report the money to Canadian Customs as well. I went down stairs and waited 45 minutes and filled out more forms. Back up stairs for another wait and more forms. I finally got to Security and had to empty both my bags as the cheese showed up in one and the yogurt and cream cheese in the other. I was standing in front of 200 people with no belt, holding up my pants and no shoes, repacking my stuff. I got down to the gate and grabbed a sandwich and left $9.00.
When I got to Miami I got my bags and started to look for Carol Cole. She had to walk a long piece and I only waited 10 minutes. We took the Shuttle to the Hertz garage and after a long while we eventually got a car. I did not have a Reservation and that was the only problem. The guy at the counter said no cars. I asked to speak to the Manager and we eventualy left with a car. The drive to Fort Pierce was 2.5 hours. That is where Missionary Flights International flies to Haiti. We stayed at the new Holiday Inn for $55.00 as well the Hertz car was half price. All because we were going to Haiti on MFI. I dropped my stuff in the room and went to the Business desk and printed out a map to MFI. This was 11:15pm. I found it no problem and the manager was just leaving. He checked the passenger list to make sure we were on it. He also said we could leave the rental car and they would take care of it. That made my sleep much better knowing where to go in the morning.
On the way to the Airport MFI flies out of I had passed a gas bar with 4 police cars parked having coffee. I figured it was safe even though they were long gone on my way back to the Hotel. I was wrong. It was the most sketchy place at 12:30 am I was ever in. I convinced my self that I was going to be robbed by a gang of 12 or more coming at me. I took off out of the parking lot and back to the main drive. In my haste I forgot to turn on the lights and a police car came up behind we with all lights blaring. I pulled to the shoulder of the street and waited forever for him to come over. Then I heard a loud voice on a speaker. Pull into the next driveway. On the third time I heard it I figured, He’s talking to me. So I pulled in to the next street and waited and waited. Then I heard him again. Turn of your engine. I did. Then he said, Look straight ahead. I did. Then He said, Put your hands on the top of the steering wheel. I did. He came over and said, Can I see your driver’s card? I said, Can I take my hands of the wheel? At this point in the exercise it was probably the wrong question. Long story short he said before driving again learn to turn on the lights. I went to the Hotel and slept soundly .
We had to be at the Airport at 8:00 am. We left for Haiti at 10:45. We were treated like kings for the entire morning. The DC 3 we were to go on left with freight and I was not keen on flying in a plane manufactured before I was born. Mel Newell, Mike Smith, Lloyd Sweeney, Ralph Cleveland and other Nascar fans – we flew to Haiti on JOE GIBBS RACING TEAM plane. We had his Chief Pilot, Co-Pilot and Stewardess. Treated again like Kings. They had flown 7 days straight. Leaving tomorrow for the Daytona 500. There was 31 on board and I was the only Canadian. Carol and I and the rest were Doctors or Residents. We got through Customs in PAP and on the road in 30 minutes. I drove to the Compound and we we met by some familiar faces.
The route we planned to take next week through the DR is now too dangerous for anyone because of the bandits. Some of the doctors on board were telling us that US citizens using this route have to be in an armed convoy.
I am heading for my tent, I am exhausted.