And the journey begins…
Not without some excitement though! It’s Friday night and there’s last minute things to do before heading to the airport to begin the first leg of our journey to HATS-Haiti. With great excitement and anticipation of what’s to come and only a little time left to complete last minute details. And much to our surprise we were blessed with an unplanned power outage that lasted for 31/2 hours!! Sounds a lot like the Haitian electrical grid, eh Karen? Power was restored but due to water build up on the highway and any other unforeseen mishaps, such as a moose or two, or heaven forbid, a team member misplacing his passport. yes folks, you heard it right. Since I was traveling with Don and Lacee, Jenny, Heather and Todd, I couldn’t understand why Don had not arrived as planned. Flash, as Don is fondly known, has a reputation for being a little tardy, but this was beyond that. My telephone rings and guess who? Mr Don calling to inform me that his passport is missing. He has been searching for his little black book but to no avail. The team is informed and we are all uneasy as this trip cannot proceed without Flash. It just wouldn’t be the same. After all, we do need our Daddy!!
He strongly feels we must get on the road so the rest of us would not miss our flights and besides, his car is loaded with numerous items for the orphanage. As per usual the importance of the HATS mission comes before anything else so he very sadly insists that we carry on without him and he will continue looking for his passport and then catch a later flight.
Hallelujah! The black book has been found, the flight rearranged and Don is on his way. We are not quite sure when he will arrive but please continue to check our blogs for further updates. As I endure a 12 hour stop over in Toronto, the rest of the team heads to Miami for a few hours of rest and relaxation. I decide to play telephone tag with Don because we now feel it may not be wise to leave him on his own!! Unfortunately, all that tag was for naught. His flights could not connect with mine. But that’s ok. See ya later Flash.
They say things happen in threes so are you ready for number three? I suddenly receive a frantic text from our two new team members, Shirley (Heather is the other) informing me that her hotel room was crawling with bed bugs!!! Are you laughing yet? Shirley wasn’t. Don’s misfortune became Shirley’s fortune as we were able to move her into the already booked hotel that couldn’t accommodate her as she had been a little later coming on board. Well Jerry and Alycia, you are surely missing loads of fun
Wish you were here!!!
Sunday morning bright and early we meet in the lobby to pack bags into the shuttle bus and head to the airport. Oops !! Somebody is missing!! It’s Shirley! Her traumatic experience with bed bugs left the poor traumatized girl tossing and turning all night. The other missing person is sleeping it up in Toronto.
Finally we arrive in Port Au Prince extremely excited, a little anxious and certainly proud to be ambassadors from our hometown of Springdale, NL. Karen’s hometown as well. Its on to the bus and off to Deschapelles.
The beautiful smiling faces, hugs and kisses mixed in with welcome home and welcome new ones make our hearts do a happy dance. There is love all around .
|Welcome to the team|
|Happy children. Happy Team|
|Unloading the goods for Haiti.|
|Lots of hugs going around|
We acquaint and reacquaint ourselves with everyone and then are treated to our first Haitian meal. Yummy fried chicken, rice and beans with Creole sauce and salad. Germaine has definitely not lost her touch. We leave the table with our bellies full as we prepare to show ” The New Ones” our sleeping quarters.
|The HATS Hilton sleeping arrangements.|
Oh, by the way, its is really great to see you too Karen!!! We know its all about the children but you are kind of special to us as well!!
|Jonathan is one of the reasons Heather’s heart is touched.|
We were blessed with the visit of two Canadian police officers who are working with the United Nations here in Haiti. It made their day to see and spend time with fellow Canadians as well as to compete in a soccer match with the kids. The treats they supplied were a great hit!!
|Lacey with Guillaume and Valerie.|
|Our kids with Guillaume and Valerie|
|Sandra happy to have Valerie back to visit.|
|Soccer with the kids|
After a lovely supper we are starting to wind down. Possibly an early night but only after a few of Mama Karen’s bedtime stories. To even imagine touching a life in a country just as this is way out there. We are on a mission, a mission that is all about the children. The children and their future. A future we hope will be improved if only a little by our presence here. Good night all. Can’t wait to listen to the sounds of the heavenly choir. What a great day it has been.
~Emma and Shirley