Wednesday, March 29, 2006

How was your commute today?

Today we went to Port au Prince to work our first Agape Mail shift. Our commute was 34 miles and lasted 95 minutes. We reached a cruising speed of 40mph for about 12 seconds. Along the way we saw many interesting things.

Had we been commuting together in Minnesota, we would most certainly have stopped at one of four gas stations or one of three specialty coffee places to grab some coffee for the ride. Here, we passed zero specialty coffee places and the one gas station we passed, sells only gas ... no coffee kiosk, no fancy creams available. In this country, you must feed your coffee addiction in the privacy of your own home. There is no help along the way.

Had we been commuting from Zimmerman to the nearest large city of Minneapolis; we would likely have encountered some road-kill. No problem, a dead squirrel or racoon or even the occasional deer is to be expected.

Today, we saw two dead horses, a dead goat and almost hit a dingo and a horse ourselves! (Dingo's are really nasty, gnarly dogs --- but we like to call them dingo's.) Dead horses are not a pretty sight. Don't worry, no photos.

Photos from our commute-

This is from about one half of an inch of rain that fell last night. The drainage system is less than effective. On they way home six hours later, it looked no different. The city road repair workers must have taken the day off. ;-)

We gave the up-nod to our friends at the United Nations compound. They returned the greeting.

This is a river that you cross as you enter the outer "suburban" edge of Port au Prince. This river is used for many things. Just to name a few: Car washes, trash dumping, doing laundry, sand for cement, and a watering hole for swine and bovine alike. Two words: No good.

No need to call 911, this is the way it always looks. Mmmmm, the sweet, sweet smell of burning trash in the morning.Maybe this has something to do with the horses?

Before our Agape shift we went to get groceries for the team of seven that arrives on Saturday. Our list was long, we mostly experienced success. The bummer of the day: no chips ... not one bag of potato chips to be had. The big BIG find, a few liters of Diet Dr. Pepper. This is also the store that sells the non-stinking variety of ground beef. We bought a lot of that too.

On the way home from the big city, Troy took this picture of the sea. We enjoy the crazy sights of Port, but we are really happy being "village people."

It was a fun day. Every time we go into Port we notice new things that amuse (or alarm) us ... we enjoyed our first solid day together (without little people hanging on us) in months.

We called it a "date" and grabbed a hamburger and fries at a place in Port au Prince to seal it and mark it as such.

At Agape our shift was fun, we met new people AND we got letter's from the 6th grade Sunday School class at New Joy (our church). That was pretty fun. Thanks guys!

Troy and I agreed that the best song we listened to on our way in was this Sara Groves song:

You Did That For Me Sara Groves

I don't have to cry anymore. I don't have to worry about what's in store. I've walked that road exhausted and poor. I don't have to cry anymore.. And I don't have to know it all. I don't have to be so proud and stand so tall. I climbed that mountain only to fall. I don't have to know it all.. You did that for me. Oh, you did that for me. You wore the chains so I could be free. Yeah, yeah. You did that for me.. And I don't have to be ashamed. Hang my head or shoulder the blame. Wondering if my life's been in vain. I don't have to be ashamed. Oh, you did that for me. Oh, you did that for me. You wore the chains so I could be free. Yeah, yeah. You did that for me.. Man of sorrows. Well acquainted with grief. Drug down to the city dump. Spread eagle on a cross beam. Propped up like a scarecrow. Nailed like a thief. There for all the world to see.. You wore the chains so I could be free. Yeah, yeah. Oh Lord, you did that for me. Oh Lord, you did that for me, You wore the chains so I could be free.. You did that for me.

Hugs and Love and Warm Sunshine from Haiti