Sunday, September 1, 2013


We're here.  I'm not really sure where 'here' is other than 5500 feet above sea level in the mountains just outside of Port-au-Prince.  The road here was a winding, grinding ascent up the side of the mountain, one of the main roads out of the city, also known as the "pick-axe road".  This name came from the Turnbulls, who founded the mission back in the '40s and cut the road up the mountain with pick-axes.  When they came here, Fermathe was just a remote spot on the top of a mountain.  Today it seemed like we never left Port-au-Prince.

Flights were uneventful and we arrived at Port-au-Prince right at the scheduled time.  Just off the jetway in the airport, a Haitian band of 4 guys was playing a loud tune.  It would have been nice to stay for a bit and listen, but we had people waiting for us.  Trey met us just outside the airport entrance, just after we walked out into the afternoon heat, dragging our bags behind us.  There were many people standing around who were more than willing to help with the bags, one of them even insisted on it.  Of course, they expect to get paid for it.  

Trey took a shortcut because the traffic was so bad.  If we would have had anything other than the 4-wheel-drive we were in, it would have been better to deal with the traffic.  I've seen better roads when we were 4-wheeling the backcountry in Canyonlands National Park. The picture below is actually a very good section of the road.

The driving resembled what we had experienced in other countries: a continual game of 'chicken' in usually heavy traffic.

A 'tap tap' (typical taxi).  So named because you tap on something when you want to get off.
Our home for the next week is an apartment in the middle of the Baptist Haiti Mission campus, a fully functioning apartment that fit our family well.  In some of our walks around the campus, we have learned that there are many other things here as well, including a hospital, labs, x-ray machine, clinic, pharmacy, a conference center, including several classrooms where they offer masters programs in theology, a small zoo, a children's playground, a large wood shop, a metal working shop, an auto repair shop, terraced gardens, store, bakery, and several residences, all built into the side of a rather steep mountain.  It's a rather amazing operation.

We had dinner with two of the missionary families and had something very Haitian... pizza, ordered out from the Mountain Maid store here on campus. We had fun getting to know their families and learning lots of interesting details about the mission and Haiti.  David, the only coffee drinker in the family, had some Haitian coffee.

It may have been hot in Port-au-Prince, but here in the mountains, it is rather temperate, pleasant, actually, with the evenings requiring long sleeves.

It had been a long day of travel so we were in bed by 7:30pm. The evening is filled with the sound of frogs and several other animal calls that I have not been able to identify.

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