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Haiti 2013 - Day 1


Day 1: So I sat up late last night and typed up a journal from my first day back in Haiti but it did not send nor did it save it as a draft. Super frustrating and I was so tired I gave up and went back to bed. So I will do my best to start over. Saturday morning started early with what was supposed to be my last hot shower for a while but of course the shower was broken in my hotel room. Thank goodness I was traveling with my friends, Craig and Laura and was able to go to their room and shower. It made a long day a little easier. Check in was a little crazy as we had large nine suitcases plus our carry on bags and backpacks. The TSA in Miami were so strict and made Craig and Laura check in their carry on bags for additional large sums of money. It was ridiculous. I still do not know why they didn't let them gate check but oh well.

We got on our flight and I had the pleasure of sitting next to a young 19 year old boy from Port au Prince. He was traveling with a group of about 12 kids and some US federal agents. He shared with me that he and his. 6 sisters and 2 brothers had been orphaned when he was 9. He and his younger brother who was now 12 were able to stay together in an orphanage in Port au Prince that was run by So I sat up late last night and typed up a journal from my first day back in Haiti but it did not send nor did it save it as a draft. Super frustrating and I was so tired I gave up and went back to bed. So I will do my best to start over. Saturday morning started early with what was supposed to be my last hot shower for a while but of course the shower was broken in my hotel room. Thank goodness I was traveling with my friends, Craig and Laura and was able to go to their room and shower. It made a long day a little easier. Check in was a little crazy as we had large nine suitcases plus our carry on bags and backpacks. The TSA in Miami were so strict and made Craig and Laura check in their carry on bags for additional large sums of money. It was ridiculous. I still do not know why they didn't let them gate check but oh well. last night and typed up a journal from my first day back in Haiti but it did not send nor did it save it as a draft. Super frustrating and I was so tired I gave up and went back to bed. So I will do my best to start over. Saturday morning started early with what was supposed to be my last hot shower for a while but of course the shower was broken in my hotel room. Thank goodness I was traveling with my friends, Craig and Laura and was able to go to their room and shower. It made a long day a little easier. Check in was a little crazy as we had large nine suitcases plus our carry on bags and backpacks. The TSA in Miami were so strict and made Craig and Laura check in their carry on bags for additional large sums of money. It was ridiculous. I still do not know why they didn't let them gate check but oh well. American man. It turns out the man was severely abusing the children in his care. Some volunteers from Michigan discovered this during a trip and notified authorities in the US. The man was arrested by US authorities and some of the children were flown by military plane to Miami to testify against him. He was such a sweet and articulate young man. He aspired to be an attorney when he grows up to help others.

After a short 2 hour flight we arrived in Port au Prince and there were some significant improvements at the airport from the year prior. The terminal and been rebuilt so we no longer had to go on a bus to get to a makeshift baggage claim area. They still had the live music playing Caribbean tunes to welcome you, which always feels surreal. The baggage claim area was very nice and new, much less chaos. I felt so much more calm this time having done this before. We loaded all our bags and also helped the in country coordinators 23 year old sister who flew in with us to visit. I knew which guys to say no to and which guys to pay this time. It all felt much easier, getting through baggage check and customs then through the mob of men who wait to try and help you with your bags. The Midwives for Haiti guy found us sickly with his men and we made our way to the pink jeep and our driver Ronnel.

The guys had already picked up a large dresser strapped to the top and a bed frame and some boxes so when we rolled up with all our bags it probably took 40 minutes for the guys to figure out how to arrange it all. We were dripping in sweat and other than Craig we really didn't do any of the loading work. The roads in Port au Prince looked the same....still had piles of rubble and unfortunately 30,000+ still living in the tent city. The small homes being built on the outskirts of town for these people are still under construction. No one is living there yet. Just crazy 3 years after the earthquake. We then made our way up the mountains into the central plateau. The roads are rough and curvy. I was thankful to have zofran and the front seat. I driver had to stop multiple times and drive slow after we got a little love tap from a large truck driving by in Port au Prince. Our driver thought he just tapped the wheel but it actually knocked something loose under the truck. But we slowly and surely made it 3.5 hours later to Hinche.

It was great to get settled in the house and see Nadene (the founder of MFH) and Steve (ob/gyn). Once we caught our breaths Craig, Laura and Katie (Carrie's visiting sister) and I went on a nice walk to a nearby hilltop overlooking the town. Then we stopped by a man's cart across the street and bought some beers and cokes for the house. W sat up on the balcony in big rocking chairs visiting with Nadene and Steve. We learned all about their work over the last year and their plans for the future. They have received a grant from Every Mother Counts and Christy Turlington will be here next month to film a documentary including MFH. Very exciting stuff. They have gone from a budget of $5000 a year to $450,000 last year. They are doing such great things. The class will have 24 students this year and they have over 50 graduates working all over Haiti. The provide a mobile clinic in 16 communities where there is no. Other care and train local matwons in a 20 week training course. They are so very inspiring.

The in country coordinator is a 23 year old girl from Virginia and she is simply stated bad ass. She took French in high school and speaks fluently now. She cam down to Hinche about two years ago to help her dad when he was on a medical mission at the local orphanage. And decided she wanted to come back and do something. She is vivacious and out going and dragged us all out to the local nightclub for some dancing. Four of the students who are boarding at the house joined us and two translators met us there as well as the two guys, Gampson and Mitial from the Rivage school. Beers were a dollar so Craig bought a round for everyone. It was fun but we were all so tired that we returned after an hour. I sat up and worked on an email that did not go through as I mentioned. I actually slept fairly well.

This morning we woke up and I led a yoga class on the balcony for Nadene, Carrie and Laura. Craig went on a run and learned what humidity was all about. Then we had a pancake breakfast and got ready to get on our mototaxi's to go to church at Rivage. Rivage is the slum of Hinche. They are very excited.

#Haiti2013

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Day 3: I slept well again last night. I am so thankful there is not a rooster this year. I woke at 630 and led another yoga class on the balcony for Nadene and Carrie. It was a great start of the day.

Haiti 2013 - Day 2

Day 2: Now I sit reflecting on the day and am overwhelmed by it all. After lunch we loaded up the jeep with all the supplies. 75 backpacks each filled with a notebook, pencils, pens and a pencil sharp

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