Friday, February 12, 2010
Days 1,2,3 summary
So...let me start at the beginning. The flights were really nice. On Saturday, while we were waiting for our flight to arrive, mom asked if we could sit next to one another and they were able to do that. We were in the very last seats with the seat in the middle free. That was super nice. We had lunch on the plane (home made) and read our books and took short naps. We had a very short layover in Atlanta and pretty much went from one plane and boarded the next-really didn't even sit down. While flying into Fort Lauderdale, there was a fireworks display that was neat to watch. I believe it was for the superbowl the next day. After landing we collected our luggage and called 4 or 5 hotels to see what their rates were. Only one had rooms available and that was for 200 dollars a night. Yikes! No thanks! So, we bedded down in our sheets and tried to sleep. It was a bit difficult, but oh well. The next day we we had breakfast at dunkin donuts-a coffee cake muffin and hot chocolate/coffee. Being super tired, I laid down again and slept another couple of hours while mom read her book. We were close to where our Lynx flight was going to take off, and eventually checked in. It was very funny because you just give them your passport, don't get any ticket, and they just tell you to show up 15 minutes before the flight. I was a little nervous, since NIck was in the airport 4 days waiting for their flight to show up, which never did. Our lunch consisted of sbarro's pizza compliments of an airport employee named Pat. Mom was talking to her and telling her what we were doing and she offered to get us lunch! It was great. Our flight out to Haiti was a little late, but eventually someone (not over a speaker phone and not even really very loud) said to get in a line for the flight to Cap. I quickly sent a mail to Jamie saying we were on our way and and we filed out. They didn't recheck our passports and of course we had no tickets, we just filed onto a smaller plane. One side had double seats, one side single. Mom and I sat one in front of the other and were able to look out the window and enjoy the scenery. It was pretty cloudy, but we could see I think a bit of Cuba and flying into Haiti we had a great view. We landed and got off the plane and were filed into a small building with pretty much nothing in it. It sort of reminded me of some of the buildings in Dacau, dirty and simple. The guy who stamped our passport didn't know a lick of English, so he couldn't answer us when we asked for Immigration forms (which our COTP packet said we would get). Oh well...off to another room to get our luggage. They took a quick look in our bags and out the door we went. We did not see any white people outside of the airport and quickly became surrounded by a bunch of Haitian men wanting to give us rides. One of them spoke Creole and offered to give us a ride to COTP, but we were not too fond of that idea, being two women, never having been to Haiti. I was getting very nervous because I had NO contact information for COTP. I tried my cell phone but couldn't get through (I know, I'm sorry...I suck, but was feeling very scared and thought it would be better to spend a bit of money on a phone call than be killed). After awhile our ride finally showed up. I jumped into the back of the truck with a missionary from the Bahamas named Debi and another volunteer named Marvin.The ride to COTP was amazing. I loved every minute of it. It is very flat without hills and then all of a sudden there is a huge hill. It was gorgeous-so green and tropical. I loved to see the life of the people of Haiti. The kids would run out to the road, jumping up and down saying "Bonswan" which means hello. There are huge potholes (almost lakes!) that you drive through (which is the reason that our ride was late-they got stuck in a pothole). Finally we made it to COTP and got a quick tour of the place and got settled in. Debi made us egg sandwiches and we were introduced to our roommate nicknamed Theo. He has major hydrocephalus and was left by his mom several days ago. She came in asking for help and when they told her they wouldn't be able to help him, that she should take him home and he would eventually die, she shoved him into somebodys arms and took off running. THey tried to chase her down, but couldn't find her. So, they don't know his real name, how hold he is, ANYTHING. He is super sweet little boy. We helped with teethbrushing and met a few of the kids and then I came back to take a shower (got very dusty on the ride in the back of the truck). Let see...what else am I forgetting. I guess we just got ready for bed and hit the sack. Theo gave us a rough night. We didn't get much sleep, so we woke up very tired. I already can't really remember what we did yesterday. Several of the volunteers were gone in the morning, so we pretty much took care of the sick kids who sleep with the volunteers. We fed them, bathed one little guy, and tried to calm the extra-irritable kids with hydrocephalus. Just a little background-when kids first come to COTP the ones who are sick sleep in the volunteer house usually with short-term volunteers-and the rest of the kids who are more healthy sleep in the baby house and are watched by nannies who work 24 hour shifts. Breakfast is at about 9:30am and we had crepes. It was so good. When the other volunteers got back we were able to go over to the baby house and help serve them lunch. The babies are so sweet and hungry for attention. They come up and pull on you cause they want to be held. They go down for naps at 12:30, so during that time we helped out a bit with clean up and took a real short nap. We had lunch at 2:00 and then spent a little time with the two boys with cerebral palsy and also with the other kiddos. Let see...we also helped with teethbrushing, had a dinner of rice and beans, did our Bible study and I don't know what else. We went to bed eventually with Theo in our room again and broke our night into shifts. I took the first 5 hour shift to care for him and mom took the 2nd 5 hour shift. He didn't wake up once during my shift and we both slept good. The 2nd shift he was up a ton. Poor mom! She must be exhausted by now. I helped her out at the end, so she could sleep. He just wasn't sleepy towards morning. I woke up feeling so rested, since I slept for about 11 hours. It was a good night of catch-up for me. I think that's good enough for now. We continue to feel more settled, so that makes things easier.