Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Monday report

Monday morning I left La Digue at 7:30am and drove to Port-Au-Prince to take care of business all over town and pick up this week's mission team, returning home at 4:30. I was exhausted. I know I've mentioned it before, but the driving here is something you have to see to believe. I will try to describe it briefly:
It's just like a video game, except if that bus does hit you, you're done...for real. It's insane. The roads and the vehicles require your constant attention. If you look at your watch, you might get crushed. If you scratch your back, you might drive into a store or broken-down vehicle in the middle of the road. If you blink, you might obliterate your tires in a pothole the size of Minneapolis. Other than that, it's almost fun. A Haitian friend told me I drive just like a Haitian. I don't think that's necessarily good. But I'm getting around. As he said, "it's all brakes and horn." True. Honking is an art. The more the better. And every time you get up to speed, you have to slam on the brakes to avoid a pedestrian or goat or cow or push-cart or pothole or bus or motorcycle. The idea of lanes and right-of-way are nonexistent. Just go until something bigger or badder is coming at you, then avoid. Oh, and it's fun to have your guide sitting behind you pointing directions you can't see, telling you to turn at the last second, and mixing up his English when it comes to right and left. I quickly learned that 'goch' is left, 'dwat' is right, and 'ale dwat' is go straight. 'ale dwat' literally means 'go right', but apparently when said while driving it's 'go straight'. So it was a day full of "DWAT?", "no, ale dwat","What? Go right?","no, go straight","What? Straight?", "yes, ale dwat", "ok, go straight", "yes, dwat","RIGHT?", "no, ale dwat!", and so on. Crazy, I tell you.

We made it home safely with our group of fifteen new friends from Indiana and had a night of fellowship and rest. We'll start building trusses today. First I have to go buy some more extension cords that haven't been chewed on by rodents. (Tara should not read this.) I think the shop that sells them is on the dwat.

Please pray that we accomplish a lot this week (hopefully complete the roof on the new 120'x32' building), and that I never forget how amazing this is. I don't want to get complacent and stop noticing the incredible differences here. I hope the new things I am seeing every day never get old. Everywhere I look I want to take a picture and remember it forever. Love, Troy