If I had to describe these last few days in one word, I’d go with insanely busy. Ok, that’s two words.
Its hard to imagine or adequately describe just exactly how quickly information is changing around here these days. I’ll give you an example.
The team was expected to fly out between 2 and 4pm. Luggage would have to be weighed in at no more than 40lbs a person. At 5:30pm we left the airport, with the team. At 6:15 a message was received from the pilot, bad weather prevented him from leaving Cap Hatien. He’d be in Cayes Sunday morning at 11:30am. At 9:30pm I received an IM from Gary, the plane would be earlier. We’d need to be at the airport at 9:30am. And bags could only weigh 10lbs.
At 8:45am we received a call, the plane was coming early, leave for the airport ASAP. The team wouldn’t have to check bags or go through any kind of customs check so it was to be a quick, the plane comes in and unloads, the team boards the plane and leaves. We arrived at the airport just after 9am. The airplane arrived around 10:15am. And bags were not guaranteed.
And with our phones still not working consistently, sometimes the news has changed so quickly, its changed again before everyone gets the first message. And the rounds of “things have changed” goes around again….that's just the way it is these days.
Because there was such limited space available for luggage, the team had to compact their luggage. They had already done so once, to meet the 40lb limit. Lots of items in their suitcases were evaluated and many items had to be left. When the luggage limit was decreased, they consolidated to three small cases total and left the rest behind for us to send later. They had to leave behind a lot of stuff. I mean a LOT of stuff.
While we were at the airport I was asked if another group, of 14 people who were still stuck in Haiti, could stay at the Guest House for the Sunday night. For safety reasons, they had been uprooted from where they had been staying when the quake happened and they had been been sleeping at the mission school. They would need dinner that night, breakfast the next morning and possibly lunch. It was absolutely no problem for them to stay there, its why the Guest House exists…the Guest House was just a wreck! Since the team had left Saturday afternoon with the expectation they would be gone, we had sent the house ladies home Saturday after lunch. By Sunday morning there were dishes in the sink from 2 meals for 12 people each. There were beds that had to be made, so much dirty laundry (sheets and towels galore), sweeping, cleaning to be done, and food to be prepared; not to mention figure out where to put all the stuff our team had to leave. As soon as I arrived back at the Guest House, we called on the house ladies to come back up and I got to work as well. While all of that was going on we had all of the medical supplies that had been delivered in the front yard of the Guest House and a team of people who had flown in to do some medical relief work here in Cayes and out in Bon Finne. Our driveway had become the distribution center. That meant we had company; company who had left the US early that morning, who were now working in the hot sun to sort and divide these medical supplies before heading out. I had to ‘care’ for them as well.
Somehow it all came together and we got it all done. The ladies are awesome, Gary, Benson and Benjamin who helped move all the luggage to a new out of the way location are awesome, and God gave us the grace and strength we all needed even though we were all so tired.
Even with all that done, the activities didn’t cease. I had to track down Gary (since I couldn’t call him), check in with the team at the Guest House and get them settled, and I still had to plan shopping lists and emergency supplies we would need to have on hand in the coming months. It takes a while to a make list of stuff thats gotta keep a lot of people fed and clean for several months at a time!
I turned my light out at 1am.
The good news: both teams were able to get home. Our team was unexpectedly able to make it all the way to Atlanta within a matter of hours. They arrived in South Carolina last night.