Me and my team of 11 flew into Port Au Prince Haiti. We had to stay in town with the Coreluv missionaries there until morning because driving through unpaved roads and 4 rivers in the dark when other cars and motorcycles may or may not have lights is not safe or even a good idea.
Right off the bat, we landed into a conglomeration of colors, dirt, and a sea of people. Most of which were black. A very interesting turn, being a vast minority. However, Haitians are a friendly people and smiled offering to sell us cold bottled water, handmade bracelets, and a variety of other local or handmade merch. We pushed through the crowd until we found our hosts, Michael, Maica, Mino, Reubens, and Ashlynn. We were herded toward a sturdy looking dirty white steel truck painted with the Coreluv emblem t and headed deeper into Port-Au-Prince.
To say there was poverty is an understatement. There was trash in the streets, rubble in the midst of housing, garbage trenches on the side of the road a block long that were burning. Burning away people’s wastes. People headed in every direction. In the road and off the road. Some dressed professionally, some in caj wear. There was no rhyme or reason to their direction. Even traffic had no real signage (at least that none that was ceremoniously followed, no ‘stay to the right’ rule. Cars, people, bikes, motorcycles -they all just headed to wherever they needed to go. Its an intimidating feat, to be foreign and drive in place where everyone yields while they honk at you, then fly around you before you can get your bearings of what to do and how to proceed. Luckily, our driver Mino was local and really good at pushing a giant car loaded with a dozen people through the chaos of city life.
We unloaded at our detour location for the night. No air conditioning reigned supreme. Of course, I knew this would be the case. After all, despite Haiti being only a two and a half hour flight from Miami, it was not America. Electricity was an on again off again thing. Clearly the reason no one in Haiti utterly depended on it. It was not consistent. Our three hosts took us to the best pizza in Port-Au-Prince. Muncheez.
We changed and reloaded into the car and went up hill, slowly in the discombobulation to the restaurant. The scenery was full of distant hills at sunset, small beautifully bright colored buildings on each side. Some where houses, some businesses. Amid which there were houses made of tin sheets, some rusted gruesomely, some destroyed in the earthquake of several years ago, but none were abandoned. People lived, worked, and sat in their personal rubble watching as the day retreated into breathtaking twilight all the while chatting amicably with neighbors or bartering with street vendors.
We made it to the restaurant and had some very good pizza. The lot of us talked and got to know one another over our last Amrican meal for the week.
We then headed back to our rendezvous point for the night and had some collective Bible time. The implicit question that would permeate the rest of trip made its debut. “Where did you see Jesus today?”
The answer to which I had to say: EVERYWHERE!