Haiti Day 1: Growing Up

We headed for the airport at 3am (thank you daylight savings time) and after 15 hours of travel, we arrived in Marigot, Haiti. Along the way, we met Kettlie Daniels, a psychiatrist and founder of the Carribean Foundation of Development, in Miami. We are teaming up with her this week to staff her clinic in Marigot. As we boarded the plane, everything seemed to be working out as planned. We no sooner found our seats than an announcement was made to deplane due to a tire change. After 1.5 hours we were finally on our way. 

When we arrived in Port-au-Prince, the security guard we used last time helped us get our baggage through quickly and bypass the long lines. On our way out of the airport I met the two newest members of our crew, Brenda (Trauma Nurse) and Randy Walters (Emergency Medicine PA). Joy (from the June trip) also met up with us at the airport. We all piled in the van with Ronald (my car dancing buddy from the summer) at the helm. The drive took us along the back streets of the city where we purchased bags of mangoes and fresh avocado. 

As we drove through the streets I watched my son typing away on his phone. I initially thought he was texting his girlfriend, but after awhile I noticed he had written a small treatise on his phone. I looked at him quizzically and asked about it. He said "I just want to capture what I'm thinking about right now..." In that moment I could see he wasn't just in Haiti to please his mother or answer a college application essay. He was experiencing Haiti, through his own lens, as a young man. It finally sunk in for me that my beautiful boy was ready to own his thoughts, speak his own truth and he didn't necessarily need my opinions and/or perspective anymore. 

Although we were warned of possible roadblocks and robberies in the mountains, the only thing I experienced was motion sickness. We finally arrived in Marigot around 8pm and ate a filling meal at Kettlie's sister's home. We returned to Sahn-Sahn's home and fell asleep quickly. 

Today we will prepare the pharmacy in the morning and see patients in the afternoon. Please send lots of good vibes for the week ahead.