Sunday, January 22, 2012

Our First Day in Haiti

Written Friday, January 20, 2011 (first night in Haiti)

(I apologize there are so few pictures. It's taking so long to upload them, and now that I was able to finally get on, I want to work fast before I lose the signal. I promise I'll post Morepictures as soon as I can.)

We arrived in Port Au Prince, Haiti around 9:30 this morning (Friday), and somehow we managed to get through immigration and customs by 10:30 (AM, not PM). Everything went really smoothly, which started us all off on the right foot.

But we were exhausted. Our flight from Indianapolis actually left at 5:00 Thursday night, taking us to Dallas, where we had a fairly short layover, and then sat on the plane for over an hour waiting to take off for Miami. By the time we actually got there, we had all of two to two and a half hours to actually get any rest. Some of us chose to get showers instead of sleep.

So…people like me got all of a half hour of sleep before boarding the plane to Haiti.

When we got here we were greeted by Haitian music initially, and then as we stepped out, a bit of culture shock. Haiti is like no place else, a country so devastated by poverty and leveled by the earthquake two years ago.Tent cities are still commonplace. No clean water. No major stores. No fast food or restaurants. So many of the little shops seem to be run out of shacks. Schools, churches—everything is run down and crumbling.

And then we stopped by a site of mass graves, one of the most tragic reminders of the earthquake.

We were, as one, deeply moved and saddened, letting our breaths slow and our minds absorb the significance of what we were seeing.

After an hour long, bumpy bus ride in the heat with intermittent honking of a blaring bus horn that caused us all to jump out of our skins, we arrived in our compound in St. Ard.

Despite our dragging feet, right away we got to work, unloading and unpacking luggage to remove medicine. We also unloaded medicine and food from the shipping container sent ahead a couple months ago. As if we’d been working together for twenty-four days instead of less than twenty-four hours, we worked as a team to organize and set up the pharmacy and the kitchen. We also took tours of the clinic facilities within the compound, oohing and ahhing over the new dental equipment provided by Paul, one of our team members. Seriously, chairs that lean back. So at least during the clinic in this compound, we won’t have to hold patients’ heads during their dental procedures. We also got a look at the brand new prosthetics center that was just built and is in the process of getting going.

Amazing stuff, guys.

The heat is tolerable, not the sticky rice kind, but the overwhelming dry roast kind as you as you stand in the sun. But we quickly acclimated. Mostly, because of these guys.

Already, Haiti has stolen our hearts.

Can you tell?  


  1. Thinking of you, your team, and Haiti...
    And looking forward to future posts!

  2. *hugs*

    Thinking of you! Can't wait to read more!

  3. You are so wonderful! Can't wait to read all about your journey! What beautiful faces, yours included. :) xoxo

  4. <3 Amazing. Great pics ;o) Sounds like you are having a life-changing experience. God Bless you and your team ;o) Be safe. xxxxoooo

  5. It sounds like an amazing experience so far!

  6. This is going to be one of those life-changing times for you. It's sobering to see how other people in the world get by on so little, yet they can still be happy.

    Best of luck to you and your team.

  7. You are amazing. I wish i could be there with you. Can't wait to see and hear more. <3 <3

  8. I agree with Sara, you are amazing. Can't wait to read and see more!

  9. You look incredibly alive in that photo, Carol.

  10. Getting a little teary-eyed already...

    Big hugs, Carol! You are amazing! (And you braved New Orleans in June, I knew you cold handle a Haiti winter! ;D )

  11. what a fantastic experience you're having! And I know you're making a difference. Best to you guys, and can't wait to hear more! :o) <3

  12. It is mind-boggling to me that you are there.
    And we are here.
    Reading about your journey.

    Thanks for sharing and I look forward to future updates.

    Sending love to you and your heart.
    Stolen, indeed. Completely.


  13. Thank you so much for sharing this, Carol! It's fun to feel like a tiny part of your trip, and it's amazing to see all the good you're already doing. Stay safe, have fun, and please keep us posted when you can. <3

  14. Thanks for sending the updates and I'll follow this along! Please tell my Brother, Lee Mitchell, that his Sister, Nancy says hello and that I'm thinking about him and this whole group! Thank you - Nancy Mitchell

  15. You rock so hard for doing this! Can't wait to hear more.

  16. Wow. Thanks for sharing with us, Carol. You are amazing!

  17. What an amazing experience. You are an angel and they are lucky to have you! Those kids are beyond adorable!!!!

  18. This is amazing! Good luck with all you're doing over there.

  19. Thanks for sharing the update and the pictures. Look forward to hearing more when you can post.

  20. You're doing such a great job. Keep up the good work. The shipping container the supplies came in could also be used as portable buildings, with a few adjustments.

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