A Reprieve in the Haitian Countryside
Yesterday was a tough day. Today was much better. We spent time with Keanan in the morning at the orphanage. We hung back and just watched, instead of being overeager and hovering. He was so cute and fun today.
Around noon, we boarded a very, very small plane to head to Port-de-Paix. The plane ride was an experience. Only 12 passengers, and all the luggage was just piled in the back. The pilot had his hand sticking out of the front window the duration of the flight. I think it was a little low on oxygen because the entire plane fell asleep. (with the exception of the pilot, fortunately).
Port-de-Paix is a small fishing village where some dear friends of mine run a school. Cara and I have been friends since we were babies. She and her family moved to Haiti when she was 8, and we have always kept in touch. I visited her when I was 16. She is responsible for my love of this country.
And they have air-conditioning. We are in heaven. Tonight Cara's mom prepared a Haitian feast. We are stuffed and feel safe, and we are sprayed down with DEET. It's good to be with old friends.
It is so great to visit with them, and see a softer, gentler side of Haiti. It is much safer here. You can walk around without fearing a mugging (or worse). They leave their doors unlocked. They seem to be friends with everyone in the village. It is a small-town feel, and the locals are loving on my kids. I'm not sure who is more popular - the little blonde white baby, or the black boy who speaks perfect English. Either way, they are both winning friends left and right. We went to the beach tonight, and Jafta saw lots of fishing boats. He began talking about how HE wanted to be in a boat. And wouldn't you know, two boys paddled up and offered him a ride. They both looked about 10, and one of them was not wearing anything but a t-shirt. And yet, I let my son ride around in their boat because it seemed like such an epic moment for him.