This time tomorrow I will be meeting the rest of the Haiti Medical Mission team in Louisville. After a briefing, and packing party (medical supplies) we'll likely all sleep very little before heading to the airport at 4 a.m. Thursday morning. Our flight from Louisville to Chicago (yes, we have a connection in Chicago) will leave at 6 a.m. From Chicago we'll fly to Miami, then on to Port-au-Prince Haiti. I think we're due to arrive around 3 in the afternoon. Haiti is on Eastern time too, and they also recognise daylight savings, so we'll get to have an extra hour of sun starting this weekend. Nice timing on that :-)
The word is that we'll still be working within an hour or so of Port-au-Prince, but I don't think we will be staying there now. Plans have changed several times in the last month, and we've been told they may change again before we get there.
Medical teams take everything they will use during their time there, as there's really no secure place to store equipment and supplies. Our team of 24 will take at least 48 checked pieces of luggage full of supplies and equipment for use during our stay. Nurses and other medical volunteers usually take some of their own personal equipment as well (stethescopes, BP cuffs, etc.) Those items are packed in our carry-on, which will also include the clothing we will need for the 9 days we are in Haiti. Needless to say we'll be re-wearing things! We should be able to do "laundry" while we are there. No warm water, no washing machine. We'll do laundry just like the Haitians do laundry. In a bucket. That alone will be eye opening.
Tommy will pick me up at the airport on Friday, March 19 around midnight. He may want to drop me off for a shower before driving me home! We've been told that we should have access to shower facilities of some kind, but that water in Haiti is very scarce and our cold showers have to be short, short, short. The team will also have some warm meals provided by a church or mission house, and will be local cuisine like beans and rice with onion and tomato (those are four of my favorite foods!)
I am so excited about going on this trip and serving the Lord and the people of Haiti. I know it will be a humbling and life-changing experience. Thanks to all my friends and family for the prayers and kind words of encouragement. Love to all of you and I will share pics and stories when I get home!