Surprise #1: I left for Haiti Sunday night without the church knowing. I arrived here around 4pm Monday and did some upkeep around the place. Tuesday was the same, Wednesday I was able to work on my favorite Isuzu Trooper. Thursday at 9am was terrific.
I was able to shock most of the 14 people coming in from Cottonwood Church by meeting them at the airport. Great fun! It may have been more of a shock riding with me from the airport to Maranatha Ministries without brakes.
Surprise #2: The Missionaries stole my luggage. At the Florida airport i was asked if i wanted to check my luggage. Since I had 35lbs in my carry on and the flight to Port-au-Prince was packed, I did it. That gave me 2 50lb bags and my 35lb bag checked in the belly of the plane. When I arrived in Haiti there was the typical customs line up so it took me a while to get to the baggage claim. Not that I needed to hurry.
My bags weren’t there.
My life was in my carry-on. And it wasn’t there. I could have kicked myself for letting them check the bag. I went to the pile of bags that in this airport generally gets dumped to the side after they make a few rounds. Thankfully I put red duct tape around the handles to make them easy to find. I saw one bag with red tape. “My carry-on!” I prayed.
But it was one of my bags. One down, two to go.
I started looking around, watching people leaving the area, looking for red duct tape. There was a missions group with the obnoxious matching t-shirts loading a bunch of bags onto carts. One of the bags they were about to load had… red duck tape!
I ran over and snagged it. “Oh, sorry” said the leader.
That wasn’t adequate. So, I started looking through bags already on the closest cart. There was my carry-on, loaded and ready to go with a bunch of matching t-shirt missionaries. I snagged it. “I looked like ours,” said the leader. “Why” I wanted to ask, “because it was black?” Ugh. Anyhow I finally got all my stuff and headed out to beautiful Port-au-Prince.
Surprise #3: The Trooper Lives! Well, it lived for a day. The 1998 Trooper with endless miles that had been sitting for 4-5 months ran after a day of work. A friend and I got it to the gas station, where it died. I had my first experience of pushing a car down a packed street with motorcycles and cars squeezing and honking around me. Great fun. Wish I had a video.
We then got it running long enough to go to the airport and back. Currently it is waiting for brake parts. It was a rather hairy airport ride. We now know 3 of the 4 disk brakes were frozen.
That’s it for now. Off to work on a Trooper and enjoy some Cottonwood folks crazy enough to come out here. What an amazing church!