Monday, February 15, 2010

Friday- Out of the Cage

Today marks the 1-month anniversary of the earthquake that devastated parts of Haiti and claimed the lives of at least 225,000 people. We were awakened at 5am to the sound of singing. The Haitians wasted no time getting an early start to remembering the dead and celebrating the living. They are in the middle of their carnival weekend too. Everywhere we have been today there have been services, parades, and ceremonies honoring the day. Later in the day we actually ended up driving right through the middle of one of the parades of people. It was called a Thanksgiving March where they were offering praise for their blessings and asking for salvation. Some were singing, some were dancing, and nearly everyone was waving their hands through the air. They have these vehicles here that are like announcement trucks. They creep me out because they remind me of something in an armagedom movie or war scene or futuristic disaster film. The trucks have massive speakers on them and drive around with this loud creepy voice emiting from them saying important messages and sometimes playing music. They are loud too. One of these little trucks creeped its way along with the herd of people in the parade.

We got to see this whole little parade on our ride to find a package that was shipped here for me. A friend of mine got me 2200 doses of antibiotics that were coming in on a charter flight today. I had the tail number and the ETA, but not more information than that. We had been walking down towards the hospital from the house when Alex the hospital administrator drove by in the bus. We waved him down and he told us to get on the bus and he'd help us get the package and show us downtown. First, we had to go to the airport to pick up some new medical staff coming in. While we were there waiting for them to arrive, Nancy Pelosi's plane came flying in for her visit. They kinda secured the airport for her arrival. Meanwhile, a bunch of us were able to head over to the University of Miami's medical tents. This is quite a setup. They have massive air-conditioned tents filled with hundreds of patients. The cots line every piece of space in the building and cards, posters, and drawings are hung around to cheer things up. It's really quite a sight.

Finally, Alex came back with the new med staff, and he starts talking about this package that he has to pick up. He says he doesn't know when its coming in or what the tail number is, but he said that he might just have to go pick up his package at the Ruuska Village later. I nearly jumped out of my seat... the package I had coming in with those 2200 antibiotics were also coming in on the plane bringing crew and cargo to the Ruuska Village. It turns out that randomly, both Alex and I had our packages coming in on the same plane with the same pilot at the same time. Indeed, we did head out to the Ruuska Village where there was a package waiting for me and him. This was definitely a God thing... way too crazy for it to be purely coincidence. God wants those antibiotics to get to the people.

Another crazy coincidence happened today too. The group that was leaving us on their flight were picked up at the house by a driver and the pilot through Samaritan Air. My roomate's husband was piloting some of their flights as well. We got to talking and once them mentioned Samaritan Air, I thought why is that so familiar? Then, it dawned on me. It was one of my backup plans to get here to Haiti. I ran to get my list of contact information and sure enough, there was Samaritan Air, the name of the pilot Brian was listed as my contact who was now standing in front of me, and name of the church on my contact list was the one both of these guys go to. Later on at the airport amid all of the chaos, we ran into them again! What are the odds. Now, I might be doing little 1 or 2 day outreach missions with these guys around the region cruising around by helicopter! This little strange happenings are tiny reminders that I'm on the path I'm supposed to be. If anyone has ever read the Celestine Prophecy (I think tha's the title), you'll understand what is going on in my life right now. I keep having these moments that are way too strange to be coincidence and realize that in following what is laid out of front of you brings great joy. As Jill in my small group described in prayer before I left, was that I would find many "happy accidents".

On our way to get this package Alex drove us through downtown PAP, the area that received the most damage. It was unbelievable. In parts it was like an absolute ghost town, empty streets, trash burning in the middle of the road, rubble lining the sides, complete buildings collapsed... it was haunting. It looked like the armegeddon. We even passed a bus that said Apocolypse painted across the side in big letters. We learned that the energy exerted in this quake was the equivalent of 4 megatons... Hiroshima was only 1. That puts things into perspective! We passed by the palace and saw it in ruins. You can only appreciate what a big deal this is when you see it in person and realize how big the building is. It's like the 10 of the white houses collapsing! All the other government buildings are collapsed too; the house of justice, the ministry of finance, the ministry of etc. The important tax documents, passports, identification, court records, strewn about the street and piled atop the rubble.

Finally, we had to return to the house so some of our friends could get packed for their departing flight. We settled in at the house and Kim gave me an ice cold orange Juicy Juice. I might go so far to say it was the best thing I've consumed since I've been here. Again, we had to say goodbye to our newly made friends and it was a quite night in the house with only Josh, Elizabeth and myself.


At February 15, 2010 at 3:39 PM , Blogger Cory said...

I'm so excited about the antibiotics. I do believe they are the ones that I had my brother-in-law send from the pharmacy he works at only because that was the number of does he said he sent.
Wherever they came from, fabulous.

At February 16, 2010 at 10:20 PM , Blogger jeanne said...

Dear Julie, I came across you, your story and your blog on the internet. God bless you for the work you are doing. Please know you are in my prayers and keep on blogging. I will be a return visiter. jdl :)

At February 17, 2010 at 9:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are truly and angel, Godspeed...


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