Sunday, February 28, 2010


So I'm in Miami.

It was a fun flight. I'm traveling with close friends. We encountered Apnea Man:

Seriously, I had to double check and see if the sound coming from this guy's nose was actual snoring or a plane malfunction.

And Intimate Couple also joined us. That couple who made out the entire trip. You know those people, and you dislike them as much as I do. Don't lie.

Mr. Bill has come along for the trip as well. And no, I had no idea who he was until I was subjected to a reenactment of the old SNL sketch during the flight. He flew across the plane a few times at inappropriate times, before I kidnapped him and buried him in my carry on.

Our flight for Port au Prince, Haiti leaves in about 8 hours, and I'm in a hotel room waiting. And waiting. I feel like I've been waiting for days to get to Jacmel. I'm excited. I'm nervous. I understand what I'm getting into as well as I possibly can. I have a rough idea of what I'll be doing - tomorrow is the walk through of the city. Tuesday we'll be handing out water filtration devices and going to the refugee camp. At some point we'll be effectively babysitting for a day and taking the kids to the beach so the house parents, Gwenn and Nick Mangine, can have a day off. We'll be going to the orphanage to hold babies, change diapers, and love on kids.

This trip is as much to test the waters for teams in coming months as it is anything else, so we're feeling our way through it. The Port au Prince airport has just reopened. We won't be driving the three hours through the mountains to get to Jacmel like they did prior to the quake - we'll be catching a 15 minute MAF flight and heading in that way.

I've heard that there are tents all around the street. There are people right outside the fence that surrounds the house all the time. My nervousness comes not from getting hurt or getting sick. I know what the risks are. My family has been panicky... I know I'll be okay. I'm concerned about handling the women that want to hand me their children so I can take them back. About having answers for the people who beg me to help them become refugees in the US.

I pray for the right words. I am as ready as I can be, knowing that I can never really be ready. We're not exactly sure what we're going in to - none of us here have been there since January 12th.

I'm off to get some sleep before waking up at 4:30am to catch the plane. I'll update as possible, depending on the internet situation.

Meanwhile, read this.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

In spite of myself.

This Haiti trip came up pretty quickly. And by that I mean I had about two weeks to raise money, get a passport, get my shots, and other little things... and the first week I was involved in an all consuming conference for work. Stress levels were high.

By this week, everything had come together but my passport. I called last week and the first available appointment was Thursday at 9am. The plan was for me to head south on Friday - so... that left a day.

On Thursday morning, I got up early and went to the office to finish up the paperwork before my appointment. After triple checking everything, I get over to Walgreens to get the passport photo, thinking I'd get the picture taken and then head over to the passport office right afterward. So at 8:30am, I go to pay and realize that my wallet - which naturally has my driver's license in it - is back at my office. Because... this is me. I lose stuff. After a small panic, I bribed a cabby to rush me back to the office, wait for me while I get my wallet, and rush me back to the passport office. Just to clarify - this is DC. Getting ANYWHERE in 30 minutes is a feat at that time of morning.

Amazingly enough, I managed to be back in time for my appointment. And was astounded to find that the passport would be ready the SAME DAY. Pretty incredible.

Tomorrow, we will spend the night in Miami before flying in to Port au Prince on Monday morning. From there, we'll hop on a little 18 seat plane and wind up in Jacmel.

As I write this, I am sitting in North Carolina. The money has come in. I've been vaccinated. I've got my paperwork. The bags are packed. I have time to get nervous, but I'm not. I know that this is bigger than me - I'm just along for the ride. And an incredible ride it will be.

I will be updating (hopefully) daily while on the trip. Feel free to follow along or pass the links around. Thanks so much to those of you that helped make this happen. God is good.