Well we have all arrived safely and as team leader I got elected to do the first blog. It was such a relief to see Francine and Tony waiting for us in the Miami airport after watching the big snowstorms out east on the news.   Two of our suitcases of donated things did not arrive so that means another long trip back in to get them if they ever arrive.   Good thing I insisted everyone bring their personal things as carry on.

Big load of luggage, can’t wait to unpack and figure out what’s missing.

So after a long stop at the baggage claim desk we were on our way.  The vehicle was full of emotion during the long drive “home”.   For me the excitement of seeing familiar landmarks, new construction and also the anticipation of seeing my old friend Karen and the four remaining children from my time here 10 years ago was almost overwhelming at times.  My eyes were teary when I arrived to see how much this one woman has accomplished during my absence.  She would say it was God and all of you but she has certainly been His hands and feet on the ground.

Same river, MUCH more garbage

For the first timers overwhelming took on another form.  One can only under imagine the heat and the pervasive poverty until you’re here in the midst of it.  The crowds, the market food being sold from the side of the busy highway (I use that term loosely but that is what the main road through the region of a country is called), the crowds, the high state of emotion of the few people we encountered along the trip (the female police officer who pulled her gun because she felt our driver was disrespecting her, the venders banging on the van when our security person Daniel stopped for mangos), the garbage, the crazy drivers in their over capacity vehicles, and did I mention the crowds.

Motos in Pont Sonde


Market day today, (note to self, next time do not come on a Wednesday)


fruit venders


Safe and sound at HATS compound


Ok, like we’re going to get that done in a week!
Sure hope the rollers are not in the missing suitcase


“What do you mean there is no scaffolding?”

Now its write the blog then off for a walk along the canal before dinner.