My Adventure in Haiti

An Essay By j. Glen pollard // 3/15/2013

My adventure in Haiti started on November 13, 2012. We left at 6:30 am. and after we got through security we finally hopped onto the plane. As we flew, I watched Ice Age 4: Continental Drift. After a few more hours, we finally got into Haiti. First, it was really hot and I sweated more than in summer! Anyway, we got our luggage and walked about half a mile till we met Roger’s (my brother-in-law) parents, Paul and Freda Beachy. Mr. Paul drove a pickup truck with a huge cage in the back. Now I didn’t know it but that’s how people mostly ride in Haiti. So, with Isaiah, Dad, and Roger, I had to stand in the back with the luggage.
In Haiti most of the roads are dusty, so as we drove to the compound, dust kept flying in my eyes and we always hit pot holes at least every two minutes. Also in Haiti, there are many motorcycles and small vans they call “tap-taps” because when ever people want to get off, they hit the top of the of the van.

Anyway, after about seven mi. (which took about 45 minutes) we finally got to the compound. The Blue Ridge compound is huge and has a blue gate and even a small camera that shows you who’s at the gate. Mr. Paul honked on the wheel and a Haitian man opened the gate for us. Mr. Paul told him something in Creole which I guessed meant “thanks” and we drove into the compound.
To compare the compound to outside the walls would not even be fare. The Blue Ridge compound is like a paradise to Port-au-Prince. In it were trees and grass and little lizards with butterflies in their mouths. Also, there was American food like whoopee pies and hot dogs and the only drink I liked down there: Cocoa Cola!
At the compound were four singles, three couples, two apts., a house and a church, all in four walls. Plus, there were the workers, the villagers who worked for Blue Ridge to help fix the walls, mow the grass, plant trees and feed the pig! It was looked much nicer than the city I bet they didn’t want to leave.

After we unloaded our luggage, Isaiah and I went to Lunch Area (AKA half of the Mr. Paul and Ms. Freda’s house) and ate some lunch. It was good and Roger seemed to be getting along with the cook and day-guard. It seems that they were his friends back when he and his parents lived in Haiti. As soon as we were done eating, I had to went back to the house and read some books, then when it was time for meeting took a shower. Now the showers in Haiti are COLD! I actually had to pretend that I went inside a pool so I wouldn’t go numb.

Anyhow, after I changed my clothes Mom, Isaiah, Dad, Janine, Roger, Laila and I went to the meeting. It was interesting in the beginning but by the end, I had still not gotten used to the kept repeated lyrics to the songs. By the time the meeting ended, I decided not to go to all of the nights.

For a few days after the first meeting it was the same as usual:
#1. Eat a bowl of cereal.
#2. Do school.
#3. Janine would come to show Laila in her new outfit.
#4. Isaiah would leave with Janine back to the house to hang-out.
#5. Finish school.
#6. Eat lunch at the Lunch Area.
#7. Hang out with Janine.
#8. Eat dinner at one of missionaries’ houses.
#9. Take a shower (freezing cold!).
#10. Read.
#11. Go to bed.
#12. Repeat.

It happened this way for about two days till we went to the market. Now the market in Haiti is crazy:
People try to sell toasting-eggs, chickens in baskets, water in bags, cat-meat (as in people sell meat that’s cat). But the annoying-est part was the haggling between the Haitians and the Americans. Sometimes it would look funny when Roger and Mr. Paul were trying to buy my Dad something and when they spoke in Creole, the men would whisper “Wow! The black ones don’t speak Creole but the whites ones do!” The reason why we knew they said that was because Roger later translated for us.

Anyway, a few days later, Roger took Ms. Freda, Janine, Isaiah, Laila and I to the beach. Isaiah spotted fish while I built a sand castle as Janine took Baby Laila in the water and Roger ordered to food while Ms. Freda slept in a lawn chair. After we ate, Isaiah found a jelly fish and he and I touched it. Isaiah actually put its tentacles on his chest! Roger said it’ll itch but he still did. I only touch the bottom with my fingers.
The next day, two of the missionary guys (Justin and Bryan), Mr. Paul, Ms. Freda, Mom, Dad, Roger, Janine, Baby Laila, Isaiah and I went up into the Haitian mountains. As we drove, a little girl called to us saying, “Bumkai!” Now, there is a word in the Japanese which is “bonkai.” so from that incident on, Isaiah yelled at every Haitian:

“Bonkai! Bonkai! Bonkai!”

Any who, the mountains were huge and green and you could see the villages below. Oh yeah, we saw the hotel Roger and his friends used to go to when they used to live in Haiti. Then, afterwards we went to the Haitian Baptist Diner were tourist went to eat American food. I ate a cheeseburger and fries with (of course) Cocoa Cola and sat with Isaiah and Justin. After we went to the diner, we went to the shop and I got a clay turtle. I actually still have it in my dresser.
When we got back to the compound, Isaiah, Janine and I watched Sue Thomas: F.B.EYE (cheap Law and Order: SVU) while Mom and Dad went to meeting. Later on we ate dinner.

~ ~ ~
On Sunday, Mom and Dad went to another church while we stayed in the Blue Ridge Church. Everything was in Creole so I didn’t understand anything, and I am glad I skipped Sunday School. An American preached while a missionary translated for him. After church Mom and Dad came back and served a meal for the attendants.

That night was the last meeting and we stayed with Janine as she quieted Laila because she is a real crier [the only thing that keeps her quiet is music].

When it was about 10:00, people form Christian Aid Ministry came and took Mom, Dad, Isaiah and I to their head-quarters. The next day, a landlord from New York name Mr. Wilfred came and road with us to Las Source. We rode on the WORST terrain on Earth! 3 LONG HOURS on “Bumpity-bump-bump!” and “Padonk-padonk-padonk!”. It was probably the worst ride I’ve ever experience.

We got to La Source and stayed there a couple of days, did some meetings and made a HUGE dinner for the villagers then drove three more bumpy hours out of La Source and into Port-au-Prince. It took us two more hours to get back to the compound, grab our bags and get to the airport.
We later got on our flight and went back home. When I went to Haiti, I learned that we should be thankful for what we have.

Comments

:)

I enjoyed hearing about your trip. Did you put part of this somewhere in your family's newsletter? I think some events were familiar.

Some of my thoughts...I don't think you should have put full names in here, though. Also, you could have developed the conclusion more by explaining more what caused you to be thankful. That's all, except I spotted some grammatical errors.

See you in VA for the Writers/Artists Conference at CLP, Lord Willing.

Lucy Anne | Fri, 03/22/2013

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Response

It's really cool that your family got to travel overseas together and be involved in missions. How did you get connected to this mission in the first place?

Julie | Tue, 03/26/2013

Formerly Kestrel

Oh yeah, Lucy Anne

when do you want me to send you that "crab" thing?

j. Glen pollard | Wed, 03/27/2013

"The trip is a difficult one. I will not be myself when I reach you."-When I Reach Me.

@Krestrel

As I said in the essay, my brother-in-law's parents are head of the mission in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. We did way more stuff in Las Source but I just didn't want it to be too long for an essay.

j. Glen pollard | Wed, 03/27/2013

"The trip is a difficult one. I will not be myself when I reach you."-When I Reach Me.

Oh...

I didn't know ; thought it was because Bethany Burkholder was there anyway. Didn't you see her?

Lucy Anne | Wed, 03/27/2013

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

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