As promised, I will be posting most of my journal musings from my recent trip to Haiti. I plan to copy exactly what I wrote, so I this may be a “raw” read. Feel free to leave comments or questions as I am sure I will not cover everything. Thanks for reading and thanks for praying!

25 February 2010

The first half our our initial trip is over – left at 0545 this morning to meet Corey at the Sheraton Hotel to park cars, get my hepatitis A shot (in the hotel bathroom!), and catch the shuttle to BWI for our 0820 flight. We flew to San Juan, Puerto Rico first, caught a sniff and a whiff of warm ocean breezes as we deplaned, then waited for our flight to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The flight from PR to DR was late leaving, so we didn’t arrive until almost 1545, but the flight went very smoothly. The landing in PR really hurt my ears – I felt like my ear drum was going to burst; probably due to my sinus infection…

Santo Domingo reminds me of some place, but I don’t know where. Some of Durban, some of Paris. The hotel where we are staying tonight really reminds me of Europe. Small, narrow streets with old, beautiful stone buildings lining them. The people are dressed to the nines, always looking their best. We’ll explore the immediate vicinity in the morning before our 1400 flight to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Tonight over beers/water we met 4 people returning from their 2 week stint in Haiti. Most of their comments were positive, including words like “rewarding” and “tiring”. Apparently the Plaza Hotel (where we are to be staying in PAP) re-opened (it was closed briefly due to questions about structure after a 4.6 aftershock on Tuesday), so we won’t have to stay outside in tents (at least not yet). Cots and mosquito nets seem to be our new best friends! Today, we also met Tyler Marshall, a communication specialist for IMC on our ride to the airport. He spent several weeks a month ago in PAP and has come back for two more. He gave us a brief overview of the situation as it was when he left and he also helped us gain a better idea of what to expect. We also met Hector at the first hotel we visited (we aren’t staying there because there weren’t enough rooms). Hector gave us a brief orientation to Santo Domingo – showed us a nice place to eat dinner and a food mart to get some supplies. Hector runs the IMC operation in Santo Domingo.

Our hotel tonight is quite plush. We were welcomed with glasses of sparkling cider. Eileen and I are sharing a room (but we get our own beds). There are mosquito nets over the beds, but we don’t need them tonight. I feel like I packed too much stuff and regret that I left my Gregory pack at home, but I’ll make do. Besides feeling sick and exhausted, I think I’m looking forward to the next few weeks (with trepidation). Am I skilled enough? Do I know enough to help? Am I too timid? Will I cause someone to die? Can I possibly offer these people anything?

Jesus, I need you to be my hands and feet. I need you to be at my side. I need to you shine through me. I need your strength for I am sure I will falter. I need your peace to know that you are with me and my family. Be praised through this time. Be glorified in all that I do. Be evident. May I not get in the way. Amen.