As I begin this post, we are taxing down the runway toward our gate in Miami. The pilot just told us over the intercom that it’s something like 76 degrees here. I’m just looking forward to some air conditioning and some food.
Our morning began like so many others, us rising with the sun. It’s been so nice this week not to be startled by my alarm but to wake up more naturally. We again were served a hearty breakfast before it was time to get ready for worship. Two of our compatriots even managed to match.
Before we left to walk to the church, several of the pastors served Communion on the front porch of the house. With the spectacular views and the wonderful new friends, it was a special time.
We walked together to the church and joined many of the Haitians from the community. Although the majority of the service was in Creole, the songs that were sung and the mere presence of God in that place were uplifting. We were given seats of honor at the very front of the sanctuary. Our group participated in worship as well by singing “Sanctuary” and “As I Went Down to the River to Pray.”
David P., through a translator, shared his message on thirst and how Jesus is the only one who can fulfill our thirst.
We were escorted out of worship early because we had a flight to catch. The pastor of the church actually stopped the service and told us to head back to the house. We filed out of the church with everyone watching us
After some quick last minute packing, a costume change, and a hearty lunch, we loaded up our stuff and headed back towards Port Au Prince or so we thought. When we got to the bottom of the crazy hill, we had to get out and hike up the hill one last time. We didn’t do it for nostalgia but because the van couldn’t get up the hill otherwise!
The ride to the airport was a lot smoother than the ride to Cange at the beginning of the week. Maybe it was because we were going downhill or maybe it was because Madison shared her Dramamine with me.
We had a short wait in the Haiti airport and several of the guys got up close and personal with security. You could tel everyone was so drained because for the first time all week we were sitting together but it was quiet.
The flight to Miami was peaceful. The ocean was amazing because you could see the current! I don’t think I’ve seen so many blues in my entire life! If the flight was peace, the Miami airport was chaos. Maybe it was that we were exhausted but the airport signs were unclear and the process was complicated.
We had to go through Passport check, security, customs, and pick up and recheck our baggage. Then we had to find ourselves something to eat before our flight to Charlotte left. Most of chose, being typical Americans, chose pizza and boy was it good!
Most of our team slept all the way to Charlotte. Those of us who didn’t, got to see lightening from the height of the clouds producing it. The landing in Charlotte was smooth and so was our exit. Several people seemed to have lost their luggage. As I was leaving the airport, they were in the offices trying to find out where it was.
For me, the goodbyes at the airport were harder than bucket showers, remembering to not flush the toilet paper, or walking almost everywhere we went. In many ways we became a family, disfunctional at times, but a group who really care about each other. We will miss finding Connor’s stuff mixed in with our own, Madison having her face time in the mirror, AJ’s hilarious jokes, Catherine’s contageous smile, and something unique about every other person. We are better for having met each other and many of us will be friends for life!