Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Back in Haiti AE (After Earthquake)




After 2 weeks of trying to get into Haiti, we finally made it. It wasn't without it's challenges (of course). Almost all of the supplies we brought to be loaded on the plane in Addison had to stay on the ground. Why? Well to make a long story short, the wonderful pilot that came to pick us up already had a plane FULL of med supplies bound for Haiti (including an X-Ray machine). We grabbed what we could and hopped on our PC-12 bound for Fort Lauderdale. The only seats on the plane were the co-pilot seat and one seat surrounded by cargo. Yep...I got shotgun :)

Our pilot was a wonderful 6'7" English man from Vancouver. He handed me maps and had me help navigate for him. I got to wear the headset and everything! Arriving in Fort Lauderdale was easy enough. We stayed with Johnny's friend (Uncle Tony) for the night and had a wonderful time trying to stay awake chatting.

This morning we left for Jacmel (yes...we were originally supposed to fly into Port-au-Prince, but things aren't super organized right now). Richard also assumed we'd be able to get a ride with the Canadians on their helicopter back into Port-au-Prince. More on that later...
I took the copilot seat again excited at my newfound understanding of aviation (very very limited understanding). Our pilot, Richard, told me once we got close to Jacmel we'd be flying VFR. Not sure what that stands for, but it basically means flying without relying on air traffic control to keep you from hitting other planes. Yes, that means I was looking out the window watching for anything that could pose a threat to our little PC-12. Sure enough, a huge cargo plane started turning towards us. I saved the day of course by pointing it out to Richard who promptly took evasive action. Eh, we dropped in altitude a bit. Nothing fancy.

When we arrived in Jacmel (after the sketchy air traffic control warned us of the 'dark spot' on the runway to avoid), there was no helicopter. Instead we were greeted by several Canadians in camouflage. Canadian flags were everywhere...I was definitely kicking myself for not wearing my Canada shirt Heather sent me. We asked if we could get on the helicopter coming to take the medical supplies. "EY, ah, we can only take Canadian citizens or people who need emergency medical care, EY". Yeah...neither qualification applied to us. So, we were stuck at the airport without a sure ride to Port-au-Prince (or place to stay in Jacmel). Dang Canadians.

After I asked everybody and their mom about getting a ride back to Port-au-Prince (and while Johnny juggled rocks), we basically found out we would not get a ride today. Sometimes American helicopters land, and maybe they'd be able to take us. But no one knew when or if they'd come back. Dang Americans. Oh...wait. I then went into asking about a place for us to stay tonight. Johnny guarded our stuff by giving stern looks at anyone who came close. He was also in a bad mood about the whole Canadian pride thing.

We found a place not too far from Jacmel and will stay here until tomorrow morning when our ride comes. The earthquake definitely affected Jacmel too; large parts of the downtown area collapsed. We passed a few homes that were destroyed along the way. I've been able to talk with a lot of people here who have told me their stories. Many have lost family members and friends, but still have a positive attitude about what the Lord is doing here. Please keep us in your prayers and check back tomorrow for another update!

Kim & Johnny

1 comment:

Janet said...

YEA GOD! He provides opportunities for patience and faith building adventrues when we think we have it planned. Keep us posted. We all are praying for you both - and for Haiti. Rev Janet