Sunday, January 24, 2010
Day of departure for Haiti
Bags were packed but I was not able to stay focused. Marshy my cat seemed to know that I was leaving for a trip, I sensed she was not too happy.
In the airport, I met Gale, the Founder and Director of PID and other members of the assessment team: Kerline, John, Jeremiah, Jenn and Susie; we would have a doctor (me:Kwan Kew) and two nurses (Jenn and Susie). There were 20 bags, plenty of supplies and Jet Blue was kind enough to give us a break on our bag allowance.
We arrived at Santo Domingo at 3:45 am. Many other people came to talk to Gale, I just assumed they were her field workers helping her to arrange the next stage of our journey. I stole a snooze on the bench while waiting. At the airport we were also joined by Ted whose mission was to figure out how to deliver free fuel to Haiti.
We loaded our bags onto a van and 2 cars heading to the Caribe Tours bus station. There were no UN planes to be seen. There were many locals and other relief teams all trying to get into Haiti. It was several hours before we finally scrambled onto the bus towards the border of Haiti. It was almost 7 hours to the border. At the border we waited quite awhile to be processed. Then about an hour out of the border, the bus had a flat. We were lucky to be closed to a small tire shop and the tire was fixed before night fall.
It was dark by the time we reached the bus station. It was awhile before the taptap (local transport bus) came to get us escorted by a police car. The trip to the house we were going to stay was to take 20 minutes but we got lost in the dark but eventually stumbled into Kerline's father's house close to 9 pm. Auguste, Kerline's father was very generous in offering his house for our use, her uncle next door also opened his home to us. We set up our tents and had a late dinner and went to sleep.