Internet, sweet Internet. I’m finally back online! I’ve been feeling so....far away and disconnected....and those are not good feelings.
But, now I’ve got a little icon telling me I’m online and suddenly you, my loved ones, are right here with me again.
I have so much to tell you! Where do I start...? Let me start with our arrival...
The day we left Bloomington, IL was whirlwind. Our flight was supposed to go out around 5 pm. But, upon arrival at the airport with all our luggage, three kiddos, and a group of friends and family there to see us off, we learned that the flight was delayed....by almost SIX hours. I was instantly filled with dread. Why? Because flying with children is almost never enjoyable, but flying with them about four hours past their bedtime is a nightmare. And then, I took a moment to remember that God had been in control of every detail of our journey so far, and I asked myself, “Why would He orchestrate this delay?” Maybe there were a few reasons, but the one that occurred to me was that it gave us time for a peaceful, relaxed goodbye with our parents. The day up until arrival at the airport had been packed with um...packing. And packing stinks. Instead of rushing through final hugs and hurrying off through security, we were able to check all of our luggage in and go to dinner! We ate, we laughed, we breathed. We parted ways in a much more peaceful frame of mind than if we had flown out at 5:00. And, even though we didn’t collapse in our hotel room until after 2 am, I didn’t think through a list of “if only”s as I finally fell asleep.
Once we were in Florida, we had two days to relax and enjoy some time together. We swam in the hotel pool, went out to eat, had ice cream, shopped for a few last-minute items at WalMart, and even spent some time at the beach.
Then, we got up very early on August 16 and drove to an airport different than any we’d ever been to. We flew with Missionary Flights International from Fort Pierce, FL to the Bahamas (to refuel), and then finally to Cap Haitian, Haiti. The captain for our flight greeted us as we buckled into our seats and prayed with us for a safe flight. Now, I’m not at all nervous about flying in airplanes, but it occurred to me that maybe people who do get nervous about flying would feel much more at ease if every flight started with a prayer.
Elli and Danielle did fine for the whole flight--even got to go up to the cockpit and see the view over the ocean. Naomy fell asleep and stayed asleep through our brief landing in the Bahamas. I told the pilot he could now brag that his landings and takeoffs are so smooth that they don’t even wake sleeping babies.
Fast forward a couple hours...through the line for checking passports, the wait for customs.... Once those things were done, we had to find our driver. I knew only that his name was Olin. If we had arrived in New York or London or Sydney that may have been a problem. But not in Haiti. In the Cap Haitian airport, we were the one and only white and probably obviously American family of five standing and waiting around with a heaping pile of luggage. Olin walked right up to me and said, “You are Aubry?”
We packed everything into his truck and he laughed at our Britax car seat with pink and brown polka dots. He threw it in the truck bed with our luggage and our kids had their first experience riding in a vehicle Haitian-style--no seat belts, no car seats, but hold on tight, ‘cause it’s a bumpy ride!
The kids’ wide eyes took in sights they could never have even imagined as we made our way slowly through the city traffic...and then out to a less-populated area--a suburb! Olin never asked for our address. And, if he had, we wouldn’t have had one to give. Nevertheless, he knew of the house we were renting and he delivered us there safely. He stopped the car outside of a big red gate and there, we waited until someone came with the keys to let us in. And then, we had our first look at the house we would be calling home for the next year....
I have so much more to tell! It’s been a very rough 12 days. But, each day is getting better and we’ve learned so much already. I’ll be blogging here every day to catch up--so stay tuned!
Great big heaps of love to you all... Even though I’ve felt far away, I have known that you were there all along, praying us through.
Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”