It's the last day in Haiti. We actually slept in again. If you call 8am sleeping in which I normally do not.
The tropical storm turned out to be a dud here in Haiti. We had some wind one night and it was a cool 90 but that and some rain was the extent of it.
We split up some of remaining snacks and stuff for Boss and Leslie to have. Basically anything we wanted to leave, snacks, clothes, bedding and the like.
It was nice to be able to say thanks to them for treating us so well and taking care of us on this trip.
Morning was basically packing and breakfast. I had a full size suitcase I wasn't going to use on the way back so Jeff and Kara will. That way they don't have to cram their suitcases quite so full.
We all ran around trying to make sure we didn't forget anything and trying to pack plus ready ourselves for this last day.
The plan was to do a little sight seeing and then hit the worksite and be at the airport by 1.
First off was saying goodbye to Boss and the neighborhood kids that come around every morning. We a ll stood and played with them after a delicious breakfast of corn flakes.
We gave Wood our email addresses. Wood was this really nice guy that came around about day 2. He speaks pretty good english and he made a bracelet for Elaina that had her name on it. That got the rest of us interested and I think almost all of us ordered at least one from him. I ordered one for Lin, Ash, my mom my 2 sisters and my niece. Just seemed cooler to have something hand made there with their name than a generic cup or bowl. Although if i had had more money with me I probably would have bought a print or something like that for my office wall.
Anyway we talked to wood and the neighborhood kids and the bus eventually showed up.. We said our good byes to everyone and loaded up.
We drove to the capitol building, or rather the area where it was. It was destroyed durring the earthquake a few years ago.
Some fellas came up to the van and wanted to sell some art prints. We weren't really interested but then Elaina saw one that was just perfect for her so she bartered with the guy and eventually bought a really cool piece.
After that we tried to go to a big catholic cathedral but they wouldn't let us in the gate and while we were sitting there a bunch of people came up and were trying to get us to give them money. Some had kids and they all looked sad but for the most part we were all out of money anyway.
Then you had to decide if it is better to not make eye contact with them at all and just ignore them or if its better to try and get them to understand you have nothing to give.
It was pretty terrible and we all wanted to get out of there as quick as possible but we ended up sitting for a good 10-15 minutes.
We made another stop and Kevin bought a really nice print for his really nice porch.
Finally we went to the worksite where we were to meet Didi. Didi works for HRI who helped set up our visit. We got there and he wasn't there so we looked at the kitchen which was finished. It was pretty incredible to see it done since we were there when it started and knew how rough it looked then.
We took some pictures and waited for Didi who ended up not being able to make it and it was getting pretty late so we ended up leaving and going to the airport.
We didn't stop and see our orphans. At the time we all thought it would be better if we didn't. That was until a few of them walked over to the worksite and saw us. Then those of us who had really bonded with certain orphans started wishing ours would either show up or that we would stop. Kevin put it best when he said "I'd rather see them and cry than not see them at all."
He and I kept peeking out the gate hoping the rest of the kids would make it before we left but they didn't.
So off to the airport. We got there and made it to the line about 2 hours before boarding but the line was crazy slow. We were in it 45 minutes and hadn't made it thru the first turn in the snake. There was no way we would have made our plane if we stayed in that line. Fortunately someone came and got us and processed us thru separate. It was an incredible blessing.
We got thru the various security lines of which there were several and made it to the waiting area with about 30 minutes to spare. Then our plane was late so that ended up being ok.
I was trying to get my phone charged because it was dead as a hammer and I thought maybe I'd get it at least partially charged before the plane got there. I was wrong again however.
The plane was a larger one than we had previously traveled on. This particular plane had 3 rows of seats instead of 2. I lucked out and got to sit by Lance on this leg. Unfortunately I was tired and he was enthralled by the window seat so we didn't talk a whole lot.
Still it was way better than sitting by a stranger.
We landed in Miami and got off the plane. We were let out right at the gate which was weird and one guy in the line said it was because the president of Haiti was on our plane. This may or may not have been true but it was weird where they let us out.
We collected our bags for customs and rode the "skytrain" over to where we needed to be to get checked back into the United States.
Customs was simple. You filled out these papers on the plane then when you get to customs they ask you a few questions and go thru your stuff if they want to. Then if you havent done anything weird like try to bring in fruit, vegetables animals or drugs you pass on thru to the U.S.
That is normally what happens. What happened to me however was a "random" pat down and a skin test at one security stop and at the actual customs window I got completely ignored. The dude just mean mugged me and stamped my passport. No questions no welcome to the states, nothing.
After we all met up in the hall we headed towards our next gate. We had about an hour and a hlf before barding so we decided to eat dinner. Kevin and i were going to get pizza's for everyone and we thought we had got that point across but apparently we didn't because after ordering 4 pizzas and 14 drink we returned to find pretty much everyone had scattered to get their own dinner. Still we ate 3 of the 4 pizzas.
Kelly ate at Nathans which is where I would have eaten if I hadn't went in on the pizza.
Lance stayed and watched our stuff. I had my phone plugged in that whole time and it still didn't have enough of a charge to even turn on.
That was kind of a bummer because I couldn't talk to Lin or the kids at all that whole day and we were backmin the states around 5ish.
After we ate we all gathered to await boarding. I had a window seat directly infront of Christina, Elaina and Kelly. I was sitting by 2 really nice South African ladies. I didn't recognize their accent at first. Then it came to me. After that all I could think of was that last scene in Lethal Weapon 2 where the South African diplomat gets caught with drugs and tries to kill Riggs and Murtough.
He holds up his id and yells "Diplomatic immunity!" Then Danny Glover shoots thru his id, and says "It's just been revoked".
I didn't go thru all that with the ladies but I did desperately want to yell Diplomatic Immunity at then but figured they'd just think i was nuts.
Katrina from CLC had been picked on by Kevin all week so she decided to get him back. When the stewardess came by she told her that Kevin never fastens his seat belt on planes and so the stewardess caught Kevin with it undone and made sure everyone knew it. It was pretty funny. Kevin is a really good sport.
When I woke up we were about to land.
In StL we gathered our stuff said good bye to the great people of CLC that went with us. Pastor Eddie, Sarah, Tony and Katrina.
We took a quick shuttle to our vehicles, loaded our stuff and the gang waited on me to use the potty. They waited a while.
After that we drove home. Stopped once for Kevin to get gas however Diesel wasn't the easiest thing to find. We eventually did and we made it to Lebanon about 1:30ish. Went to the church to get our vehicles. Talked for a few minutes then I walked the few blocks to my house dragging my rolling suitcase.
That was the trip.
All in all we had a great time. It was fun, sad, tiring and a host of other adjetives.
I think most of if not all of us plan on going back when we can.
Thanks for reading.