This could be you part I- the traveling tent village
It all started when Terry Snow ate a sandwich in front of thousands of people via GENESIS video communication. There we were sitting in our offices getting an update about the earthquake in Haiti and what YWAM was doing there and we felt the call to go help. Besides that, Terry’s sandwich just looked dang good. It’s not like weren’t already aching to be there; working in a mission that has a major focus in mercy ministries we couldn’t not help. It’s just in our blood. So there we were, seven of us, headed to Haiti, four days later.
We flew on a few separate flights and met up in Santo Domingo, at the airport. One super rad thing that had happened is we had received a lot of donations.Trader Joe’s gave us a bunch of food to take, Starbucks’ employees had donated their personal weekly pound of coffee and U.S. Airways allowed each of us to take three bags, one hundred pounds each, for free.
We all met up at the Santo Domingo airport and got ready to head to the D.R. YWAM base, and from there, head through the border to Haiti. Immediate problem: It wasn’t just us climbing into the fifteen passenger van that would take us to the YWAM base. It was us seven, plus two other YWAMers, plus one stray, plus one taxi driver, and approximately twenty-one bags, not to mention carry-ons, squishing into this taxi.
One of our team members, Matt, spent the entire one hour trip leaning forward as his guitar was taking up his entire head space. We spent a few hours at the YWAM base in Santo Domingo checking emails, taking showers and eating their white-bread, one piece of bologna, one piece of cheese– sandwiches. We ground up a bit of the donated Starbucks coffee and added it to their percolator. We couldn’t find a kettle to heat up water so we just used their old, stale coffee to create our new fresh insta-energy.
At four AM, Santo Domingo time, we loaded into another taxi. This was fabulous. We officially had exactly enough seats once all of the bags were in, and there were no guitars taking up head space. Unfortunately, the taxi-van was a manual and the stick seriously cramped the person sitting in the middle seat. Even more unfortunate, was that this seat was reserved for the two shortest people, Phil and myself. We spent the four and a half hour drive trading seats and ended up with sore backs, numb bums and cramped legs. When we reached the border. We waited for the van from Haiti to arrive to take us to the YWAM base there in St. Marc. While we were waiting we walked around, dosed off and tried to talk to the Haitian kids outside the van.
After around forty minutes, a YWAMer from Haiti showed up and told us he had been waiting for us with the team going back to Santo Domingo just a hundred meters away. What was funny, was that their team had five more people in it than we did. And we were switching vans. An air conditioned, roomy, four hour bus ride later, we were at the base. We were orientated showed to where we would be sleeping and got ready to plug into work. We found out in the process that they were expecting several more teams in the next few days and had no idea where they would put them. It was a good thing we brought tents. We set up our own little tent village that we would call home for the next few weeks. We had been wanting to go camping anyway. Stoked we got the opportunity to do that in Haiti.
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