Trip Start Feb 02, 2009
10Trip End Feb 10, 2009
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The ride to the airport is bumpy as usual. This year though I actually am able to take in the ride. The moon is nearly full and it reflects off the water and gives everything a different feel. The old ships in the harbor don't look omininous, just kind of sad. Like life has somehow passed by them. They are relics of a time gone by.
Last year I missed this whole ride. I had a bad sinus infection and all I could do was drift in and out as we bumped along. This year I am taking it all in. Trying to imprint it all on my mind and heart. It will be over a year before I can return since next year I plan on being in Australia this time of year.
We arrive at the airport, and at first we all sit on the ground on the concrete porch where the light is. Sammie hands out some South Beach Diet breakfast bars. The one I get is like cinnamon French toast. Very yummy. A bunch of us move over to the seating area. I am noticing all the bug bites on my arms. They are hideous. I didn't get bit once last year, but this year despite all the bug spray I was eaten alive. Must have been all the rain. I have left the bug spray at the guest house but Sammie has Off wipes, so we all slather up. Seems to work.
While we are waiting for the flight, a man walks by selling some food. I wonder if Clair is going to try it, but he lets it pass. I am always taken aback by how much further behind in development Haiti. I hear things are changing and some of the things that make Haiti so picturesque are being lost. It is a strange juxtaposition between modern technology and a simpler way of life; cell phones and open cook fires.
We have no issues getting into Port au Prince. All our luggage has made it with us. We make our way out to our transport bus. Lots of Haitians are around us all wanting to handle our bags. We make our way over to the international airport. Luckily this year our flight to JFK is not cancelled. Fred and I get everyone checked in except for Jerry who is heading to Miami. We go through immigration and then head upstairs to wait the many hours until our flight.
Steph, Sarah, and I hit the restroom and then go shopping. I pick up 6 bags of Café Rebo. I love the stuff. I wonder if I'm going to be able to fit it all into my carryon bag. I also purchase some vanilla and almond extract. We finish shopping and rejoin the rest of the group. There is not much to do at the Haiti airport. I buy a coke and a pastry. Paul says it is ok to eat the food here since they cater to foreign travelers. We play cards with Jerry and I swear he changes the rules constantly. Maybe I just don't understand the game. I spend some time reading. I walk around and look in the other shops. Rich has about 6 cups of coffee. He tells me they are really good and he gets me one. It is pretty good, but I think if I had as many as he did I'd be shaking uncontrollably. I am amazed by his caffeine tolerance.
Around noon I get a mini pizza. It takes awhile to cook and I sit at the counter to wait. I enjoy doing that when I'm traveling. The pizza is pretty good. After that we still have quite a bit of time till our flight. I begin to wonder if we are ever going to get home. Jerry's flight to Miami leaves earlier and he goes downstairs to enter the boarding area. We eventually go downstairs to wait in the secure area. This is the third time we have gone through a metal detector.
They finally begin boarding: groups un et deux. For a long time I keep repeating this phrase. The flight home is uneventful and we actually arrive at JFK early. We give Jeff a call to see where he is. While we wait we hit the stores for some snacks. I give in to the urge for ice cream. Keith is in the store with me and I point out that we can buy balance bars. He laughs and says he ate them everyday for breakfast and he hopes it is awhile until he has to eat them again.
Jeff arrives and we all load into the van. We enjoy the "LeFevre Express" ride home. Everyone is laughing and sharing stories and photos. Jeff loves hearing about it. I'm surprised by how warm it is. As we drive past Picatinny I realize that in just 12 hours I will be there and in less than 24 I'll be in TN. I just smile to myself and enjoy the contentment I am feeling. It was a great trip and this team will always have a special place in my heart.