Thursday, February 12, 2009
Well, we arrived in Port-au-Prince safe and sound. It was deliciously hot when we got in, but not as humid as I had expected. It was very overwhelming to be in a tiny airport (think San Jose airport small) with about 30 men trying to help us get our bags and us telling them "No, merci."
Souerette who runs the guesthouse and clinic came to pick us up in two big vans. Our designated helpers stacked much of the larger bags and equipment on top of one of the vans (more like a small bus) and the other things were put into the other van. All of us (11 in total in our first group, 5 more to arrive later) got into the van and took a very precarious journey to the guesthouse. It reminded me of riding in the car in Juarez. Lots of hurky jerky movements and I got fairly nauseated. After a 20 minute ride through Port-au-Prince we finally arrived at the guesthouse. I will be sharing a room with Melissa (OT), Lisa (RN), and Darla (family practice MD). We even have our own bathroom and, lucky for me, all the ladies brought snacks! Most of you should know how much I enjoy the snacks.
It was nice to ride along the streets and wave to all the kids I saw. It must look odd to have a van full of white folks traveling down the city street. I'll try to get a photo of the goats, which, I'm told, run around the streets like dogs do in other places.
Bonswa for now!
Addendum to this post:
We had a delicious meal tonight. There was rice and red beans, a spice mixed vegetable mix (reminded me of Ethiopian food), boiled potatoes, coleslaw, fresh squeezed watermelon juice (yum!), and some dessert thing that was fruit cocktail over bread with condensed milk poured over it (much more delicious than it sounds). The staff is overly attentive.
There are no screens on the guesthouse windows so I'm constantly looking for bugs. I was able to get my mosquito net up so hopefully I won't get eaten alive during the night. I have seen many geckos on the walls which reminds me of Oahu. Tonight we took a walk to "The Castle" which is an abandoned 3 story building that is the perfect place for a horror movie to begin. When you get to the top you can see the shanty town that is right across the way.
I've tried 3 times unsuccessfully to post photos on the blog but it seems to take forever. Where's Ben when I need him?
The photos posted are of the our team in the bus on the way to the guesthouse, the guesthouse, and some street art on the way to the guesthouse from the airport.