The other day we took the kids on a field trip....it was one of those days where I was waiting for someone to jump out and say "ha got ya" and then it would all end...of course that didn't happen and it didn't end...It was honestly like a scene from a movie...We are thankful that today everyone is doing great and in the end we all made it home safe and sounds!! And we can laugh about it! :)
Here it is for you all to enjoy..PART 1
(don't worry parts 2 and 3 will come in the following days!!)
Movie: Worst Field Trip Ever
Set-up: First day of Christmas break in Haiti for the children at Grace Village!! Sounds like a great time to go on a little field trip with some of the kids! So some of the staff and missionaries decided to split the children into two groups: 1 group would go on Friday and the other group would go on Saturday. Small groups seem more manageable--makes sense. The field trip is to a place called Fort Jacques. Fort Jacques is a part of Haiti History!
Here is what Wikipedia has to say...
Fort Jacques and Fort Alexandre
Fort Jacques and Fort Alexandre is one of the fortifications of the defensive system improvised by
Emperor Jean-Jacques Dessalines to prevent the return of the French after the independence of the island of Haiti .
The forts were built under the direction of General Alexandre Pétion . They were high on the hilltops surrounding the
The forts were named Alexander in honor of Alexandre Pétion and Jacques in honor of Jean-Jacques Dessalines.
Fort Jacques was completed in one year and armed with guns and bombs . Fort Alexander was flanked by
four bastions corner. Fort Alexander was abandoned after the death of Jean-Jacques Dessalines in 1806 .
From Fort Jacques, one can see fully Bay Port-au-Prince .
Fort Jacques was restored, while the Fort Alexander, which is east of Fort Jacques, is practically in ruins.
Every year, May 18 (anniversary of the establishment of the Haitian flag), a pilgrimage, a fun fair and music
concerts are held in the same places of these forts.
This is where the story begins...a field trip in a 3rd world country....
Starts at 9:00 am: Kids, staff and 2 missionaries hanging out waiting for the taptap to come.
2 hours later--11:00 am: Kids, Haitian staff and 2 missionaries still waiting for taptap. By this point the kids are being wild and crazy and the missionaries are starting to lose their patiences. (It's Haiti one should be used to this by now right....nope.)
10 Minutes later taptap arrives: It has construction materials on it that need to be unloaded. Everyone waits about another 15 minutes for it to be unloaded. Meanwhile 2 missionaries find out they all need to first go to the guesthouse to switch drivers before heading up the mountain to Fort Jacques. (OK it's Haiti...we'll be fine...)
Kids, Haitian staff and 2 missionaries load into the taptap! All is well and they were ready to make it a great trip! 15 minutes pass and one of the little girls needs to go to the bathroom. While stuck in line at the police check point there was no where for her to go...she had to hold. Eventually they get to a place where they can pull over. Now not just her but about 8 other children pile out of the taptap to go pee. And the journey continues on...
30 minutes later we arrive at the guesthouse. All the kids were excited to see Gracie! Meanwhile staff and 2 missionaries are containing the kids in the taptap so they don’t all get out of the taptap and go running wild.
After about 10 minutes the 2 missionaries hurried the exchange of the drivers and got everyone back on the road.
The excitement filled the taptap. The kids, staff and 2 missionaries were excited to finally be on their way up the mountain to Fort Jacques!! Smiles all around!
As they headed through Port au Prince they stumbled upon a little traffic...not unusual in Haiti...it's Haiti...this too shall pass. So the driver decides to wind through the neighborhoods and get them past the traffic. Sounds like a great idea....
While winding through the unpaved, bumpy, dusty, Haitian roads. The kids are start to get hungry. So one of the Haitian staff members decides to start handing out the food. Obviously not an easy task, if one has ever ridden in the back of a taptap on the Haitian roads, but with the help of a few others she does well and gets the job done. The children all pray and everyone starts to enjoy their food.
One of the missionaries hears some commotion and feels a little something warm on her foot. The chaos begins...she looks to her left and sees a child spewing up his mango breakfast all over himself and others sitting next to him. One of the Haitian staff members jumps quickly into action giving him the bag they were using for garbage.
Meanwhile it happens that another child is not feeling well, but doesn’t say a peep. Suddenly there are now 2 children spewing up orange, stringy, mango breakfast. Yum!! Eat your lunch everyone. ;)
It appears that one of the older children has a very low tolerance for watching others spew....seconds later she literally projectile vomits across the taptap. (Really!!? Seriously!? Are you kidding me?!?!)
They finally get the taptap drive to pull over.
The sick children pile out of the taptap. A missionary and one of the Haitian staff members start to clean up the back of the taptap. It was a good thing they were well prepared for the cold weather up the mountain because one of the extra sweatshirts came in quite handy when cleaning the taptap. Thank heavens for medical gloves!! Meanwhile the other Haitian staff member was attempting to clean the vomit off some of our other children who unfortunately were the recipients of this untimely and not so fun event.
One child continues to vomit while outside.
The staff and 2 missionaries scrounge for bags or other vomit catchers to be used if needed. Thankfully they found one plastic gallon size ziplock baggie. They pile all the children back in the taptap and strongly encourage the children to SPEAK UP if they are going to vomit so that they can give them a bag and pull over.
While continuing up the winding mountainous road several of the children were able to enjoy the spectacular view. The staff and 2 missionaries had their eyes glued on the sick children and were ready to jump into action! The words: ‘Are you sick? Are you going to vomit?’ became a norm in the taptap.
Didn’t take long for one of the children to start throwing up again....
Didn’t take long for one of the other children to grab the same ziplock bag and start throwing up too--he was not a repeat offender but a first timer.....just keep adding them to the mix!
**It should be noted that anytime a child began to throw-up water was whipped in their face and dumped on their heads by one of the Haitian staff members and they were also handed a bottle of water to drink and swish around in their mouths. (It was a term of endearment and trying to help them feel better I'm sure of it!!)
Out of vomit bags and in a frenzy!!
They were so close to their destination but had to pull over to restock vomit bags and discard one overused vomit bag. Thankfully there was a market in the area! One of the Haitian staff members ventured out to buy some candies for the sick kids to suck on and purchased some black plastic bags AKA vomit bags. The great thing about these bags is that they are black and not see-through like the ziplock bag. (At this point I had seen enough vomit and enough people vomitting to last me a long time!!)
Everyone piles back into the taptap and if they were feeling even a little nauseous they were manned with a black plastic vomit bag! All the children were given a little piece of candy to suck on.
As their destination neared the children who were still feeling well were filled with anticipation and excitement as they could feel the temperatures drop! The 2 missionaries were also excited about the temperature drop as it helped relive the carsickness and give the sick kiddos and all of them a little relief.
After about 2 hours from departure......ARRIVAL!!! Shouts of joys and hallelujah rang in the air!! But not for everyone....one child who literally was covered in vomit didn’t even leave the taptap. Another child hurried off the taptap and proceeded to vomit over the ledge. But everyone else was happy!!
***I think we have had enough vomit talk/reading for the day...tune into Part 2 tomorrow...or don't I will completely understand if you don't want to! ;)