Saturday, February 16

Highlights From Day 1

Thanks to God for a great first day:
- We were blessed with safe travels with no delays or issues
- We were welcomed to a renovated airport arrival area, which made it easier than in the past to get our bags and get to our transportation
- We drove through the Saturday market which gave a great look into Haitian culture for our new team members
- We got to meet the new missionary, Marshall Dixon, who we didn't know would be here yet
- We got to meet Fan Fan, the new Haitian team coordinator
- We enjoyed a delicious dinner of beef bouillion soup with sweet potatoes, fresh avocado salad, and fresh pineapple and Haitian treats for dessert
- We had a devotion where we talked about humbly approaching our role this week of pointing to Christ and his love

We leave you with some reflections from one of our first-timers, Stevo:

Today we ate Haitian sweet potatoes - not to be confused with the American sweet potato. Much like Haiti the sweet potatoes are deceptively pleasant. They are white instead of orange, unexpectedly sweet. The stressful and crowded bustle of the Port-au-prince airport, opens into a wide open tropical landscape - a place where life is challenged by the difficulties of poverty yet clearly filled with kind hearted people. From the presence of UN 'soldiers,' to the clear cut teak forests, to the houses, to the Creole spoken on the streets - the history of Haiti remains an apparent part of life here.

On the plane today, I sat next to a kind Haitian refugee seeking to return home to Haiti. He took the time to teach me a little French, a little Creole and a lot about Haiti. The plane was filled with some combination of aid workers and Haitians living in America. Perhaps as many as 50% of the passengers on our plane were aid workers - which perhaps says something about the situation in Haiti today.

We were welcomed with a meal tonight. In addition to the Haitian sweet potatoes, dinner included a delicious beef stew and a salad with fresh local avocados - less strongly flavored than the haas avocados we have at home and slightly sweet. We are sleeping in Croix-de-bouquet tonight, which happens to be where singer Wyclef Jean was born.

The next six days will offer much learning and growth. After a 3am start today in Chicago it's time for an early bedtime so we can get an early start tomorrow at 6am. We are planning on beginning our day at a local church service.

There's a great team. Half of us are here our first time. It would be hard to come up with a more pleasant and lighthearted group of people to share this experience with.

We've Arrived!

After two flights and a bumpy trip on the back of a pickup, we are here!  We just got our orientation of the Hope House, and are now resting and cleaning up for dinner. Check back for more a bit later!

Bon Voyage!