Follow by Email

Haiti Day One

Haiti 2010

Day 1 Wheelin’and Dealin’

Haiti bound! Once again, Canyon Ridge Christian Church sent us out to investigate a mission in Haiti and bring back a report. Perhaps we can partner with an entrenched organization and lend a helping hand to our neighbors in need.
Garett Fay and I approached the gate. The American Airlines lady announced for the fourth time that they would like someone to give up their seat for $400 toward their next flight, and send them on the next plane that would arrive in Miami at midnight- only two hours later. And they would upgrade the ticket to first class.
Well, there’s two of us, but maybe they would deal.
“How about two of us, for the same deal for both?”
She shook her head, staring at the screen. “Sorry, I can only do one deal.”
I turned to Garett. “I know. You take the money, and I’ll take the first class upgrade. We both win.”
“Cool.”
And she was good with it, too.
We waited by the desk for everyone to show. If people didn’t show, then we were on the original flight. Sure enough, two people didn’t show up.
How do you not show up? The lady said they had checked in. Perhaps they hit a jackpot in the airport? Who knows?
So the deal was off, and we boarded the plane. Except one no show was first class.
Garett let me have the seat. What a nice guy.
So, eating tasty food, drinking from crystal water glasses and wiping my hands with a hot towel, I headed to the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
The irony was not lost on me.
New Mission
New Mission started in Haiti in 1983, and has it going. They have 20 plus schools, churches, feeding programs, and the like. After signing up, they send a t-shirt, a book, a guide for packing and preparing for the trip, and a comedy DVD, from a fund raiser.
The preparing for the trip brochure was very enlightening. Perhaps I should have read it some time before boarding the plane.
The book is fascinating. It is mostly the history of Haiti, how Columbus discovered it in 1492, how the Spaniards enslaved the locals, the conflicts with the French, introducing African slaves, and their achieving independence. Then it briefly covers the regimes of Papa Doc Duvalier, his son Baby Doc, and the terrible influence of voodoo in the culture. Very eye opening! Each chapter ends with a paragraph on the principles that were violated, causing Haiti’s struggles.
This trip we left at noon and arrived at 10 P.M. Usually we leave at midnight, fly all night, and arrive at Port-au-Prince at 11 A.M., totally wasted. So tonight we stay at a hotel that isn’t close to the airport. It is in the terminal. How convenient.
Interesting, however. The little Woman and I just got back from traveling from Las Vegas to Seattle and back down the Pacific Coast to Vegas again. Every motel we stayed in (and some of them were better than others, if you know what I mean) had WIFI. This place does too, but they charge $8 for thirty minutes. Cheeseballs! They have a captive audience, but I still told the receptionist they were cheeseballs. Not in those words. I try to be kind of nice, anyway.
We are going with Chuck and Adrian, from The Crossings church, a church that spun off from ours a few years back. It will be interesting and challenging. It’s midnight now, but nine our time, and I slept an hour or so on the plane. So my sleep pattern should be totally messed up.
No worries.

No comments: