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Day 13: Winging my way back home

March 12, 2011

I said my goodbyes to the workers after morning prayers.  I approached Israel, and before I could say anything he quipped, “I’m coming with you!”  That is the dream of many Haitians.

One of the local missionaries came with us as Chris drove me to the airport. She had some business to take care of in Port and preferred to come with us rather than use public transport.  It is often very crowded and none of the buses are air conditioned.  Evans came along as well to pick up the truck on which repairs had completed after many months.

I arrived at the airport very early.  However since getting through the cattle market that is Port-au-Prince’s airport takes a very long time, I really didn’t have a lot of down time.  I barely had time to watch a movie on my laptop before boarding.

On the flight to Miami I was seated next to a pastor from South Carolina.  He had been in Port with a group on a 2-week missions trip to assist at a small orphanage.  A very thoughtful man, he was quite frank about the fact that their help only amounted to assisting with a move and only involved part of one day.  We talked about the “missions tourism” industry that has developed in Haiti and in other underdeveloped countries, how much help it really provides and in what ways.  We agreed that these trips can be of benefit by increasing awareness of the situation, but those promoting them should not misrepresent them as significant work projects.  We also concluded that people shouldn’t be sustaining the cycle of dependence by doing things that the Haitians can do themselves.  One of the big winners in this game is the airline industry that daily shuttles hundreds of mission trippers in and out of the country.

I had a significant layover in Miami, so got some Chinese and spent some time making a to-do list for the next few weeks.  It’s petty long and there are a lot of things on it that are not entirely in my control.   I think I will leave my job a couple of weeks early to allow unencumbered time to tie up loose ends.

After a gate change that involved traveling the length of that city’s massive airport, I was off to Vegas.  I tried to get some sleep but the seating was very crowded and the woman sitting next to me kept flicking on the light to redo her makeup again and again.   I had a window seat and could only see half of the above-aisle TV screen past the overhead luggage bins, so watching the movie wasn’t a viable option.  The flight was very smooth and we arrived in Vegas early.

Caught a cab  to Terrible’s where I am spending the night.  I was charged an “airport pickup fee” on top of the fare.  How many fees can they come up with?  I’ll be glad to get back to Haiti where all I have to be concerned with is bribes.  I had to fight my bags past all the slot machines to get to the hotel desk and reception was slow.  So now it’s time to get some sleep.   I arrive in Kelowna at 1:30 and am due at work at 3:00.  I have a feeling I might be a little late.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Meaghan permalink
    March 12, 2011 8:13 pm

    Glad to hear you are back. We are looking forward to seeing you next month. Eve is wanting to meet her Opa! Have fun getting that to-do list done!!! 🙂

    • March 12, 2011 8:26 pm

      Had an interesting series of events on the way back. Wanted to get a bottle of good rum at the duty-free in Haiti. Had a difficult time communicating with the clerk, but thought I finally got my order across, a bottle of Barbancourt Five Star. When I went to claim my bottle on the jetway I got 5 bottles. I was wondering what I was going to do at customs. When I got to Kelowna the agent asked, “You were doing volunteer work in Haiti?” When I told her I was, she said, “Don’t worry about it then.” So I have 5 bottles of $80 rum.

      Love. Dad

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. Meaghan permalink
    March 14, 2011 8:06 pm

    Is one of those bottles for me?

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