Seeing Haiti through the eyes of those who are seeing it for the first time brings back the unique perception that you start to lose when you’ve traveled here numerous times.
Seeing the colorful taps taps and the traffic that rarely stops with skilled drivers that maneuver the streets with horn and brakes I was able to experience today through the eyes and ears of our three first time into Haiti travelers. Driving by women with many and various items balanced on top of their heads brought newness to that amazing skill as well as I heard others exclaim, “Did you see that?”.
Stopping in traffic long enough to buy a fresh mango from a road side seller here in Port au Prince becomes a fun adventure when others are seeing this for the first time.
Quick recap as I’m trying to get this in with the internet I know is working for me at the moment….Day one in Port au Prince started out smoothly at the airport and quickly arrived to Heartline Ministries Guesthouse. After a quick change of clothes we were off to church. I was quite surprised to attend a church with mixed Haitians and non-Haitians and a service all in English! Great music, great teaching AND we ran into our Mission Aviation Fellowship pilot Will and his family!
Lunch followed at the Caribbean grocery store and restaurant with the introduction to our ‘newbies’ of figuring out the money rate between dollars and gourds. The afternoon was browsing through the Guesthouse craft/souvenir shop and then a tour of the Ministry Center.
Putting our day into a neat paragraph in no way expresses the fullness of what our eyes, ears and hearts have taken in. Meeting so many amazing people who have chosen to live here in Port au Prince to serve others and hoping they are making a difference. Like Tara who runs the Maternity Center. The women who come to their center receive the care and education they need during their pregnancy which literally may save their life and the lives of their babies. It does and it has…saved the life of women and their children and continues beyond the mid-wife assisted birth through the success of breastfeeding they promote to the new moms.
Tara’s husband Troy even taught us how to harvest a ripe mango from the mango trees on the grounds of the Maternity Center-I actually think Taylor was hit by one that bounced off the roof!
Day One in Haiti is ending with Taylor, Jacey and Geri already tucked in their bunk beds surrounded by mosquito netting and a fan to move the 90 degree humid air around our room. I heard them praise the cold shower even with little water pressure they appreciated just being able to cool down even a little. Us Wisconsinites are melting in this heat but I know I speak for us all that right now there isn’t any other place we’d rather be!