Boston to Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale to Port-au-Prince.
Not having too many memories of my last visit to Haiti (28 years ago), I was excited, yet anxious for this trip. However, it was too easy to start smiling once I walked off of the plane.
After being greeted by the music of a live, Haitian band, then convincing the customs officer that I DO speak Kreyol, I ran into Shaina and Zari at bag check. After more smiles, hugs and bag checks, we were ready to go. We found Mr. Gilbert there to pick us up; his driver loaded up the bags – on our way!
Along the way, there were so many sights and sounds. We drove by bright, colorful murals highlighting the beautiful art that can be found on the island. Wild goats and pigs were scattered here and there and soooo many street vendors, selling their crafts. As the driver made his way towards Hinche, we could see the mountains in the distance, giving us a beautiful view. Finally, when we arrived, we were greeted by two young boys who were waiting for us. Ms. Gilbert told them to “go tell their friends, we’re here…” Then it really hit me why I decided to spend the next two weeks in Haiti.
We are staying in a new home owned by Shaina’s parents, which still has plenty of work to be done, but very nice. The electricity is being powered by a generator, so we have light and fans running. There is no running water so we learn quickly to pour a bucket of water in to flush the toilet and I took a “bucket bath”, by filling a bucket with water and sponging myself down. Made me realize quickly, how much water I use on a regular basis! A delicious “Fritay” dinner with passion fruit juice was waiting for us and it was good to get settled in. We met family friends, our cooks and others came in to meet and greet.
I am immediately humbled. The way of the living, the daily pace: Everything is calm and serene and there is no stress as things always seem to work out.