Arrival at Maison de Lumiere!

This morning started extremely early. Well, let me back up a step. Due to crowded sleeping conditions at the YWAM base in Santo Domingo, I moved outside and slept on a cot beside an old swimming pool and about 20 yards down from a German medical team. For some reason, all the Germans were taller than any other teams. Why is that?

Anyway, I really enjoyed sleeping out under a group of palm trees and a full moon. That is, I enjoyed it until I got cold at about 2:00. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much at all last night.

Our day started at 3:30 AM, Dominican time. That’s 2:30 AM Haiti time and 11:30 PM the previous day in California time. We roused ourselves and packed up our things for the ride into Haiti. We shared an absurdly early breakfast consisted of ham, cheese, and mayonnaise on white bread. That is officially the earliest in my life that I have ever eaten a ham sandwich. But it tasted great!

We rode through the Dominican Republic for about six hours before reaching the border. We noticed that the DR is a nice place. It has paved roads, and you could scarcely tell Santo Domingo from many cities in the US. Here’s something else I noticed after we got into Haiti. You hear a lot about Haiti being so badly deforested. However, when driving through the countryside, you can’t really tell Haiti from the DR. They look pretty much the same.

We had absolutely no problems crossing the Haiti border. In fact, we didn’t even stop. I slept through it. When I woke up, Rod and I toasted crossing into Haiti by sharing a Trader Joe’s Lumpy Bumpy Bar. Yummy!

One funny sight… in Haiti, we passed by a tap-tap (a truck rigged up for public transportation and adorned with bright designs and messages). On the front of the tap-tap above the windshield, in huge letters, it read, “This is my mother.” We still haven’t figured that one out.

We first started seeing earthquake damage about 20 miles outside Port-au-Prince. There were many walls down, and some houses had caved in. The interesting thing is that as we entered the outskirts of PaP, the damage actually decreased. Finally we made it into PaP and drove by the airport and then up Route de Delmas. It was on Delmas that we saw the worst destruction. Many large buildings are completely collapsed. It seemed like about 20% of the buildings had suffered significant damage. The other buildings had slight-to-moderate damage, and a few had no visible damage. On Delmas I saw a few buildings I had seen on CNN as we watched post-earthquake coverage in the days following the quake.

Today is earthquake+16 days. People are resuming a somewhat normal life -- although many are still sleeping outside in tent cities. What was really encouraging to me was that at several sites, rubble was being cleared away, and at one site there was building repair going on. Haiti is beginning to rebuild. That is good!

This afternoon Erta and I talked for a few minutes with a US Navy SeaBee. He said that soon there would be additional troops and heavy equipment arriving, and they would increase their work of clearing debris and preparing for new buildings. That’s encouraging! I had wondered what was going to happen with the mountains of rubble at some of the building sites.

We arrived at the orphanage just before noon and enjoyed happy reunions with the kids. We spent the late afternoon at The Ben’s, which was a blast. The kids are full of energy. In some ways, you would never know they have just been through one of the worst disasters in the history of the Western world. On the other hand, there is work to do to help some of the kids re-establish a sense of personal equilibrium.

Today at The Ben’s, I was surprised to find that Cendi was my buddy. After I played with her by tossing her up in the air, she and I became basically inseparable. We played nonstop for a couple of hours. Now I am really tired. But I wanted to share these stories before turning in for the night.

Because there was another attack on one of the orphanage buildings last night, we have agreed that no one will be out after dark. The boys are sleeping in the boys’ house, and the girls in the bottom floor of the Manasseros’ house. We are here, and all is well! Thanks for praying!

Connectivity is bad tonight. I'll upload some pics tomorrow...

Comments

  1. there with ou in spirit. thanks for answering the call! ill continue to pray for you, and your family here.

    ReplyDelete

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