I realized I never completed the Haiti Journal. Well the only thing remaining is the trip home.
We were up at 4am on Saturday, July 5th. We loaded the buses and headed out a little after 5. I tried to capture the sunrise out of the bus window as we bumped down the dirt road away from the mission. Too bad the pictures were all blurry. I can't imagine how that happened. Here's a blurry shot anyway. The color alone makes it worth posting a terrible picture.
(The blurring makes this one looks like an impressionist painting.)
We made it to the airport with no issues and were off to Miami. Along the way we saw some of the most beautiful cloud formations, and the water between Cuba and the Keys was beautiful.
Once in Miami we had a 10 hour layover. Kim & Colby MacDonald and I hopped in a taxi and went to lunch at a local restaurant. There was a bakery on site and we grabbed some pastries for our long wait at the airport.
Oh, and did I mention that I was almost beaten up by an eight year old? I'll explain.
We played cards as we waited. While we were playing a young girl was watching us. Colby asked if she wanted to join our game. Chichina was born in Miami but raised in Jamaica. She and her teenage brother were flying from Jamaica to Texas to see their dad. As we played cards with Chichina she asked if we could guess her age. We all said 11 -13 (she was 5'1" and about 130 lbs). She laughed and told us she was only eight. Her brother confirmed her age and we all sat in astonishment. So remember that name because we are sure she will be in the WNBA someday.
Being eight years old she started wrestling with me. It was fun until this child (who is the SAME size as I) began to get rough. Chichina grabbed my arms behind my back and began shoving me. Unfortunately she didn't know when to stop. I was afraid she and I were going to end up in a heap on the ground. I could have broken her grip but I didn't want to hurt a child. I finally spoke to her in a tone of voice that made her let go. It was obvious she wasn't accustomed to obeying adults, and it it took a moment for her to respond.
Still, Chichina begged me to take her with us as we walked down the hall in search of food. I explained that she had to stay with her brother in case they announced her flight. They had already missed one connection. I don't understand why anyone would allow a 15 and 8 year old to travel without an adult. I hope they made it to Texas.
We arrived in Nashville around 11:30 that night. When we got off the plane there were several parents waiting to collect their children. One of the parents laughed and told me I looked like I was returning from the Peace Corps. I had to agree. I had a backpack, was wearing cut-off khakis, and had a do-rag over twisted hair. Quite the look for me. By the time I got home and checked email it was after 1:00 when I got into bed. I think I was asleep before the sheet sank down around me.
What a blessed life I have. God has so gifted me with amazing opportunities. I am so thankful for the relationships I have in Haiti. I pray I get to return soon. If anyone reading my journal has been touched by what they've seen or read and would like to help please contact me. If you are interested in sponsoring a child through New Missions PLEASE contact me. I promise you have no idea the impact it would have on the life of a child.
Thank you for all your prayers and support regarding this trip. I am humbled and loved by you.