Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Midnight madness

On a 200cc motocross dirtbike I stopped to give my camera and phone to the pickup following me. The river was coming up and I wanted to hit it on the fly. It was well after dark without a soul on the road. The dirt road full of ruts and potholes had been trying to rattle my jaw loose for the past 4 hours. My headlight scarcely lit the road more than 50 feet when the river was suddenly right there in front of me. I gave that motorbike all the gas it had for those last few feet but it wasn't enough. The deep water killed the engine and I jumped off into waist deep water to push it to dry land.

I was returning from Port au Prince to Pignon with a new motorbike I'll be using to get around during the next 3 months. The pickup that took me to PAP was following me, keeping me safe during the dangerous nighttime hours. The only vehicle I passed that night had the pedal to the floor and wasn't stopping for anything. The final river crossing that drenched me head to toe was luckily only a few miles from home. I was still on a high from the ride when I arrived at home to record the journey. On a high from the day's adventure but with a constant reminder that I'm still in Haiti. My stomach rumbles every time I smell food. After my second night waking up and vomiting, and living with a terible headache I've stopped eating anything but crackers and Sprite. I call this Haiti Happy.

Saturday night is when my stomach started rumbling. Sunday I hopped in the truck to head into Port au Prince. We were there most of the day, I was up and down to Petionville to get the motorbike and a few other supplies. The sight of all the collapsed houses was shocking beyond what I've read and seen on TV. There's just something about seeing building after building colapsed in front of you and thinking about the lives that were either lost or dramatically altered.

My guide was a 25 year old guy who runs errands for Haiti Outreach in PAP. He said his house colapsed and asked if I had a tent. I said no but had he tried getting one from an aid agency? He said they only give them to women with children. Many of the men steel and resell the aid supplies so the whole segment of the male population has been excluded from recieving any aid beyond a meal here and there.

I asked what his future plan for a house was. Could he demolish and start rebuilding his house? He said he only rents his house and his landlord is busy rebuilding their own home. He just wanted a tent he could set up in a small space in front of the damaged house. I told him I'd do what I could for him. But it's sad to know that there are many more like him. Good guys still working hard but not given aid because of a few bad apples.


  1. Dave...am keeping up with your postings...following your challenges. My small mind can only in part(small part) imagine the journey and the devastation on every side. The heart can not know what the eye cannot see. but, am grateful for God's provision...His resources provided and His giftings in you shared with those desperate. thank you for your transparency...staying connected. shelley

  2. Back here in Minnesota, we were graced with a few warm days. Was just magnificent walking out and not needing to take cover from the winters cold. The drive to and from Willmar... has given me time to observe winter and now spring coming. Snows melting & water is rising. About and additional 2000 "lakes". Primarily the sandbagging is holding back the devastating river water we've had in past years... places are prepared a few days in advance - ie Fargo & Grand Forks... are now waiting.

    Now the frozen ground, a few days rain - perched water table got me - with out my sump pump working. Really did need to empty out that bedroom-but it hadn't been a priority. Now ripping back the carpet and removing the pad was more than I "needed to do"; but necessary now. BUT COULD BE WORSE! Brushed up on sump pump 101, and purchased a submersible one. My pedestal one was "manual" with the way it was rigged to fit the hole, which in essence pretty much defeated the purpose of it. Once, did flood relief in Breckenridge/Whapatan - COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE!

    The geese are flying back in groups of 50-100. Nice sign of spring. Seeing one or two - just give me the thought of those few crazy winter camping trips and "types". Cross country skiing or snow shoeing up 14-ners in Colorado for New Years Eve. A different breed! Can't judge "spring" by them! A few cardinals... no Robins yet. That's spring from here. Enjoy. Sue L