I woke up this morning at 4 A.M. to catch my 6:30 flight from Miami to Haiti. The flight and customs went very smoothly. The woman at the Haitian customs desk barely even looked at my passport and didn’t say a word to me, she just stamped my paper work and let me through. On the flight there I had been told that once I got through customs I would be overwhelmed with people trying to take my bags which would force me to tip them. Much to everyones surprise the airport was very calm because we arrived so early in the morning.
Two of the nuns and a very nice woman named Barbra met us outside of the airport with a car to take us to the riviere froide. The riviere froide is about 20 miles away from the airport but because it is up in the mountains it took us about two hours to get there. The ride there was very interesting because we got to see the city, the slums, and everyone that lived inbetween. There were street vendors every where trying to sell soda, clothes, food, ect.The slums were over crowded and very sad to sad to see.
When we got to the riviere froide we were set to stay in the nuns guest house at there school and convent. Before we got there we were all a little skeptical of how good our sleeping arrangements would be. We were all happily surprised when we learned that the guest house was a beautiful carribean style villa with running water and more than enough beds for each of us.
The whole compound was laid out differently than anywhere I’ve ever been. The whole place is bunch of interconnected rooms and small one or two story buildings. All of the space that they have is surrounded by large stone walls that have thick metal gates. Below the nuns compound is fairly large amount of small homes and shacks that go all down the mountain sides.
We spent most of our day getting acclimated to the area and meeting every one that there was too meet. For lunch the nuns made us a wonderful meal of goat, plantains, rice, beans, fried banannas, mixed vegetables, fresh juices, and a cake for desert. The lunch was wonderful but we all felt absolutely horrible eating it knowing that the thousand children who attended school there couldn’t have lunch today. The children couldn’t eat because they didn’t have enough food donated to the school to feed them. I have never felt like such a jerk for eating lunch before.
After lunch we met up with all of the school children. They were all very nice and we got sang to by about 5 different classrooms. It was fun to meet every one but a little bit difficult to get to know any one because almost every one here speaks creole.
The only work that we did for the day was too organize and distribute different supplies that we had brought to Haiti. I am actually slacking off from doing that as I type this blog. I am going to get back to work. I’ll post something else about my day tommarow.