One thing is for sure in Haiti – there is no place for the typical American rushing in life.
Tomorrow I will be making a trip up to Kenscoff, to the center, with a load of food for the kids, and a chance to hang out with them without my translator helping me along. (Junior is taking his high school final exams this week to graduate, so I am without him. This allows me time to practice my Creole with the kids.)
Today, in preparation of this, I left the house at noon and drove to a hotel by the airport for a quick lunch. From there I called my motorcycle taxi friend, Daniel, to come pick me up and carry me across town to an ATM, as the moto takes much less gas than our SUV, and can cut through traffic a lot faster.
That quick lunch took 45 minutes to arrive, then once I was done eating, I waited another 45 for Daniel to arrive. We made the trip across town to the ATM at a restaurant (which for safety reasons is much more preferable to a street ATM at a bank), but before we could get there, the moto got a flat tire. We limped along to a nearby tire repair stand, and waited about a half an hour for the to melt (yep, using open flame and all) a patch onto the tube. Once we did arrive at the restaurant, the ATM said it was down for maintenance. That’s ok, because there is a grocery store right across the street with an ATM inside. Unfortunately, that one was “temporarily out of service”. Back on the moto, and all the way up to Petionville we went – possibly the farthest part of Port-au-Prince from where I am currently staying. Finally found an ATM that worked.
After a brief stop to get cash and grab something to drink, it was back on the motorcycle, and all the way back to the hotel for the car. Daniel and another friend of mine, Seanna, got in, and we made our way into the Tabarre Market, which is a fairly large street market near the hotel. While Seanna and Daniel went and browsed on their own, I made my way to my friend, Thuny, who carries most of the needed foods for the orphanage, and got the car loaded up. After that, I purchased a nice looking $6 watch that I’m sure copies some $300 brand, then took Daniel and Seanna home.
Seven hours later, I’ve made my way back to the house. The sun is going down and rain clouds have rolled in. I am exhausted from the day, despite only doing three things – lunch, ATM, and buying food. Tomorrow, I will get up and make to 2+ hour drive (maybe 30 miles) to the orphanage with the load of food, then stop on my way back home to grab some groceries for myself. As hard as it is to imagine that being a full day’s work, that’s life in Haiti. There is no rushing around. You just have to learn to go with the flow.
On a personal note, my work in Haiti has the primary focus on the spiritual and eternal, but so often the physical and the present easily distract my focus. As you go through your daily life, thinking of how stressful things can be for you, please remember to keep me (and Haiti) in your prayers.