Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Tuesday, my boss picked me up at home and we drove a couple hours to the town where people catch boats to Lagonav. We were on the dock waiting for a boat by 9:30 AM. There were three boats at the dock: a small World Vision speedboat, a fifty-foot sailboat with two outboard motors and a ferry. At 11:30 the ferry started honking its horn so we bought tickets and boarded. The sailboat left just a few minutes later. At 12:30 we finally started the hour-and-a-half boat ride to the island of Lagonav.
We arrived at biggest port on the island, which consisted of one mob of people unloading a few boats and a small town without roads. We waited for a while and somebody picked us up and took us to the Concern office where we were supposed to take a different truck to our final destination 30 miles away.
We waited. Turns out the truck that was going to take us had left on another trip because we were late. We hired a taxi to take us, which cost $165 U.S. The taxi was a 4-wheel drive toyota from the 1980's with an NRA sticker still on the back window.
This island has no roads. It has rocky dirt trails. After two hours of driving, we got a flat tire. I was relieved to get a break from sitting between my boss and the driver. After the driver and his teenage assistant changed the tire, I decided to try sitting in the back of the truck for more air and space. An hour and a half later I had to retreat back to my place between my boss and the driver because the wooden benches in the back of the truck were unbearable. I'm lying down to write this because my butt is so bruised.We also had to stop and borrow a bar from somebody to use for leverage to tighten the U-bolts on the truck's rear-end.
30 miles and five hours later, I was thanking God that I was still alive. It was 8:30 PM when we finally got to the Fonkoze "base," so the driver and his assistant ate dinner with us and stayed the night. The part of the island that we're on is green with some trees, but mostly just very green brush that's about 6 feet tall. There is no electricity here except for a delco (generator) at the Fonkoze office. And no phone lines or cellular signal, and water only from rain-water collection.
I'm here until Saturday and am already looking forward to being back in Port Au Prince, mostly because I miss Alexis and because I had stale fish and boiled plantains for breakfast and will probably have that every day that I'm here.


nerkert said...

Ashaa, Ben! What a job you have. I hope you are comforted by the great photos you got along the way. I'll be praying about the return trip.

Timbo said...

5 hrs for 30 miles?

that's crazy.

that's only 50% faster than fast walking.

as always your pics are awesome. i'm praying for you guys, and hope the bruises subside.



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