It wasn't easy getting here. In Charlotte, American Airlines informs us upon check-in that they have an embargo twice a year on boxes and we can't take our plastic trunk. My Dad drives to Walmart to buy us a suitcase and we repack at the airport. In Miami we meet up with Bryan and Sharon Thompsonowack, also beginning a 3-year assignment with MCC in Haiti. 2 hours on the tarmac before we're told that we need to disembark due to mechanical error. 2 hours sitting in the departure lounge and we are given meal and hotel vouchers and told to be back at our gate at 6:30 the next morning.
But, we're thrilled to have finally arrived. We're in Gwo Jan, on a mountain outside of Port-Au-Prince, where we'll be living with a Haitian family for a month. It's supposed to be total immersion into Creole and Haitian culture. Right now it feels more like drowning, but we're starting to get the hang of things: cornmeal, beans, plantains and avocados, rain, roosters, kerosene lamps, cold showers, hearing Creole, studying Creole and attempting to speak in Creole.
This morning an elder in this community died and we walked to his house where family members were wailing and throwing themselves on the ground. Having grown up in Cameroon, this seems to me a very appropriate expression of grief. There are so many similarities between Haiti and Africa that I feel like I'm home.