My first morning in Haiti, I packed a small backpack of clothes and jumped on the back of the truck below. This truck bed is where I rode for 9 hours to Port au Prince with 10 Haitian seminary students and two young women, who are missionaries here. It was an awesome opportunity to see a lot of Haiti from the truck—both different cities/villages and the countryside. The ride was so bumpy that I couldn’t take a lot of pictures or write, because we had to hold on to stabilize ourselves. I wasn’t expecting Haiti to be so beautiful—the natural parts are just gorgeous, but the roads were really rough on our drive to Port au Prince.
These little bags of water were all we had for drinking water. They are just like the sacks of milk at elementary schools in the U.S., but instead of poking them with a straw, you rip one of the corners with your teeth and drink straight from the bag. They taste dirty—probably partly because our hands are so dirty before touching the outside of the bags—but at least it was safe water.
This trip was roughing it. I stood for most of the first 5 hours—it’s fun to have the view and it’s easier for your body to absorb the shock this way, but the sun was also really hot, so towards the end, we all started taking turns sitting under a tarp that covered half of the truck bed. We stopped once and bought lunch from a woman in a hut in a village we passed through. It was a rice and vegetable mix with a fish laying on top.
Driving through Port was a whole new level of destruction and poverty compared to Cap Haitien. There were so many more people. Everywhere was crowded and dirty and the roads were horrible. We traveled through Port and up a mountain to a tent community in Diquini, where the seminary students would be doing a crusade.
I wish I could’ve communicated with the seminary students more. They were so nice and spent a lot of time singing during our trip. One of the students, who spoke a little English, tried to translate a couple of the songs meanings for me, while they sang, which was so nice.
As soon as we parked, the people in the tent community welcomed us. They were so happy to see the seminary students.
We’d made it…nine hours and finally to a place with bathrooms—no running water…The guesthouse pictured below is where we stayed. It had been abandoned by another mission, and one of the Haitian students got permission for us to stay there. The house looked like it had been straightened up, but it was still pretty dirty and moldy…it looked…well, abandoned. But all the seminary students and two missionaries said it was much nicer than the last time they had come. One of the seminary students that came ahead of us, set up an inverter, so we could have water to shower, which was great! Even showering in this dirty bathroom, I felt so much cleaner than when we arrived.
|The abandoned guesthouse where we stayed.|
|View looking out from the guesthouse. The blue tarps are some of the relief tents sent after the earthquake.|
|View from the back of the truck during our drive.|
|Passed this on our way to Port- SO beautiful!|