We had the smoothest trip I can remember, with no weather delays, no missed connections, and all 11 team members and 20 suitcases arrived intact. Sienna joined us in Miami, having flown from New Orleans early this morning. She arrived at 9 AM and found a place to sleep on the floor until we arrived at 1:00 PM. The 6 nurses from CBU leave Memphis tonight, to spend the night in LaGuardia airport and arrive in Port au Prince early tomorrow morning.
The only hiccup was at the Haiti airport, after gathering all our suitcases together (easily identified by zebra duct tape!) we were stopped by the customs agent who wanted to inspect our suitcases because of the medical supplies. Every trip I bring a letter from CrossLink International, certifying that they supply our medications, and that we are not charging any fees or gaining any profits from distributing the meds. Every trip, that is, except for this one. 11 trips to Haiti and not once has anyone ever asked me for this letter, which is currently sitting on my desk in Memphis.
After opening a few suitcases full of vitamins and bandages, the customs agent decided she really did not want to inspect all 20 suitcases, and waved us through. Thank you to those praying at home to help us through this!
I told Pere Sadoni that I am actually pleased to see this happen. The new Port au Prince airport is spacious, air conditioned, clean, and efficient. The fact that we were stopped tells me that processes are actually being put in place to screen items coming into the country. It is a sign of organization that has been lacking previously. This is a good thing to see in Haiti, I believe. (Even though at the time my heart stopped.)
A delicious meal of picliz, red beans and rice, and fish at the Guest House, all are settling in now. Sorting through all the suitcases to find personal items (where is my Mary Kay Cleanser!) and “Has anyone seen my DEET 40 proof bug spray?”
I am thrilled to be back in Haiti, it is cool this evening and everyone is in high spirits. Cant wait to see the kids tomorrow.