Monday, August 13, 2012

It's Haiti...time doesn't really exist...I'm learning.

Every time we head out with Ofane its an adventure..(these happened a little over a week ago)
We had every intention of going to the doctor at 9:00. Of course we got off to a late's Haiti. We dropped Kathy off at the guesthouse and picked up some money from jean for the appointment and a bag of treats and surprises from people in MN :) It was a great treat to get all kinds of goodies and cards! –Thank you!!
Thinking our driver had all the necessary info and right address because of the conversations he had with Jean; we headed to the appointment. 
As we were getting close, or so he thought he asked me where it was. :/ I told him that it was none of these places and it didn't look familiar. Yikes. Trying to get a hold of the doctor didn't work. So our new driver, who is only on his second day of work said he was going to walk down the street to see if he could find it. Ok no big deal. Ofane and I just hung out in the car. He came back no luck and said he was going to walk the other way. Trying to explain to him that I didn't think this was the right area was tricky, so off he went. No big deal...until this car starts honking intensely at us! Ugh I start to sweat a little bit more than I already was and realized I was going to have to move the truck out of the way so this guy could park, keep in mind our truck is a stick. Thankfully it was on a slight hill so I didn’t really have to do much but the thought of having to move the car again with this crowd of Haitian men right there made me sweat just thinking of it! I hate it when all the attention is on me or everyone is looking at me. Thankfully I didn’t have to move it again and our drive came back about 10 mins later! But I was having a little anxiety watching all the traffic and thinking about what I would do if I had to move it again. :)  We finally got ahold of the doctor and he explained to the driver where to go, which was pretty much the complete opposite direction of where we were. I guess I need to start paying attention! Eventually, after a few more phone calls and help from some guy on a motorcycle, we made it to the appointment around 11:00. All went well at the appointment and the return trip was uneventfuly. J

On another occasion…
Well, once again the intention of a 6 am departure turned into a 7:40’s Haiti (that might be my new phrase).
We were supposed to meet two ladies from Global Outreach to travel to a leprosy clinic about 45 mins away. We had planned on meeting them down the road at the police station. Of course we got there about 6:20 instead of 6 (and I’m sure to your surprise it was not me that made us late..I’m not a morning person but I was up and ready to go!) Our drive came about 10 minutes late and then we had to pick up Ofane who was still sleeping when we got there so by the time he got ready and out the door it was well passed 6am.
We headed to our so-called meeting spot and waited…and waited some more..I made our driver get out and ask these two ladies if they were waiting for us and they said no. They probably thought who is this crazy guy. To make matters a little trickier it was market day, so that means that the streets are a hustle and bustle of people and animals, even at 6 am. So we waited for about 10 minutes and then decided to go down the road to Global Outreach and try to talk to the nurse who connected us with them, we tried calling her but she didn’t answer.
So thankfully when we got there there was a nurse at the end of the road and she said she would ask the other nurse if she knew where they were. Of course she didn’t. So we thought before we head there by ourselves we would double check at the police station…nope not there so we decided to head to the clinic without them.
We kept trying to get in contact with the nurse but it wasn’t really working. Finally after we had driving about 20 minutes she sent me a text with the ladies number. So we pull over and the driver calls them. Well, I should clarify it took many texts to get the correct number. But we finally got a hold of them and they said they were waiting at the doors of Grace Village..aye aye aye…so back again we go to get them.
As we turn around and drive away all of a sudden there are sirens, which isn’t real uncommon, but then I look over and the one officer is waving a gun and motioning to us to pull over. Oh geez. The officer comes over and asks us why we turned around. You see, we stopped about 25 yards away from the police checkpoint and they were curious as to why we didn’t go through it but turned around instead. So after we explained the situation the officer looks in back at me and says, ‘are you ok?’ I smile at him and say, ‘yes.’ I guess it’s a good thing they were looking out for me; this little white girl in the car with two Haitian men who are trying to supposedly avoid a checkpoint ;)
We picked up the two other ladies and had a good laugh about the mornings adventures and went on our way. I must also add that it wasn’t the post comfortable 45 minute ride I had ever had. Ofane and I were crammed in the front seat together due to lack of space in the tiny little truck.
Just when we thought things were going well and we were on our way, about 25 minutes into our drive we came to some construction and realized the road was closed because they were installing a bridge; I guess it’s a good thing they are doing some road work and improving the bridge, but it added a little detour for us.
After about an hour drive we finally arrived. Lets just say things didn’t go as planned on the way to the clinic and didn’t go as planned while we were at the clinic, but it’s Haiti why should I expect anything to go as planned?? J We made it back safe and sound after all was said and done.
I’m starting to conclude that anytime I go out with Ofane it will be an adventure and I better be prepared and time doesn't really seem to exist in Haiti. J

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