Tourist day

To see a few pictures from our trip, visit our Facebook fan page here!

The team has safely arrived back at the Nazarene seminary from our jobsite in Jacmel. We packed up our supplies at the school on Thursday morning and afternoon and hit the road back to Port Au Prince after lunch. We expected the truck to be easier to pack on the way back to town, but it really wasn't. We crammed almost 30 bodies in the cage truck and our convoy was soon on the road. Saying goodbye to the people from the community was really hard - they had come out to see us every day, kids coming over after school and adults spending the day working with us. We said a group prayer just before departing and there wasn't a dry eye in the place.

We had a few adventures on the way back to the seminary! Driving seemed shorter on the way back, probably because the weather on the summit of the mountain range was very cool and foggy, not hot and sticky like it was on the way down to Jacmel. On the way up the hill, the truck carrying the luggage broke down and was sidelined until Pastor Shane and Scott helped hobble it back together. Meanwhile, Tom and I scaled the roadside cliff and enjoyed the view from someone's farmland. Most of the group walked into the only roadside stop and bought the Haitian version of Cheese Puffs. We were back on the road after four too many singing solos from Pastor Mike. The traffic coming back into town was bad. Simple backups in Haiti really stack the traffic up quickly. Broken sewer pipes, stalled cars and random police checkpoints are the most common traffic culprits. Surprisingly, as crazy as the traffic is here, we haven't witnessed any accident yet! (Which means that Americans are just plain bad drivers.)

Friday was our "tourist" day that we got to spend out on the town. Elise prepared us french toast and cereal for breakfast, which was delicious of course. The team unloaded the packed-to-the-brim box truck which took the better part of the morning. We also re-packed our individual bags, preparing for the flight back to town. By the time lunch rolled around, we were welcoming the Kirtkland Church of the Nazarene group into the Work and Witness house on campus. They're working on a different project in north Haiti this week, so please keem them in your prayers! After helping them unpack, we headed via old school bus to The Apparent Project. (For more information about this, please see: ) The group enjoyed a tour of the facility and purchased a few items from the store there. Cool people with an awesome mission!

The team left to head to the second tourist stop of the day, the Baptist Mission in Haiti, a self-help project that is similar to The Apparent Project. On our way up to the Mission, the bus we were in ran out of gas. Mind you, the gas tank in the bus is about a 20 gallon barrel that is sitting on the floor immediately in the door, basically beside the driver. Pastor Shane tilted the barrel to the side to get just enough gas to start the bus again, turn around, coast down the hill a bit and fill up with more diesel. By the time we did that and got back up the hill to the Mission, it was closed. Luckily, two of the employees were still there cleaning up by the time we got there and opened the shop back up for us. Of course, there were townspeople crowded around the bus as soon as we pulled up, shoving their goods in the windows, saying "Give me good price!" We stayed at the Mission until dark and got back to the seminary around 8:30pm.

Elise cooked up an authentic Haitian meal for the team and had it ready by the time we got in the door. Cooked, freshly-slaughtered goat, cooked chicken, fried okra, rice and beans, fresh buttered bread and salad. It was delicious and we probably ate too much. We're looking forward to a lazy morning tomorrow as we pack for the plane trip home and say our goodbyes here. Time has gone way too quickly for us!

-- Pastor Stephen

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