Yesterday we woke up knowing what needed to be done. We had two Vision Trippers arriving in the morning and Chris was heading in to pick them up. Turns out, this is Haiti, and best laid plans often don’t pan out the way you think they should.
Chris left around 7 am. Flights started arriving just after 9. He had a couple things he wanted to do before heading to the airport. He called around 8 and very calmly said, “There’s been an accident.”
Normally, all of my radar signals would have gone off and I would have been panicking, but he was so calm that I just asked him what was going on. He was just south of Cabaret when he came upon a hit and run. There was a vehicle that had been far enough in front of him that he didn’t see the accident, but he was the next car at the scene. A woman was lying in the road, and thankfully Chris was paying attention because he thought she was just a pile of clothes on the road – not an uncommon occurrence here.
When Chris realized it was a person he turned the car around, and then realized that if they were hurt he would need to take them to Port, so he turned again to be facing the same direction he was originally going. As he was doing a U-turn he got hit by another truck.
He is fine. The car, it’s a bit crunched. Thankfully it’s just the front left fender, and a small part of the door that should be repairable.
It took three phone calls in a period of about 5 minutes for me to finally be able to ask if he needed me to come to Port too. He did, so I could pick up our guests and he could get the hurt woman to a hospital. He and a Haitian friend of ours were able to get her to the new permanent location of the Miami Field Hospital. Her name is Nadia, and she suffered a head wound, but no broken bones. She was slipping in and out of consciousness so they weren’t able to get any information out of her. The man that saw the accident came with Chris and has been trying to track down info about her, but it turns out she’s from the Artibonite somewhere. He phoned today to update us that she was doing better and the doctors expected her to be okay. Please pray for her and her family. Pray that she’s able to give information that will enable someone to get in touch with them so they know where she is and what’s happened.
I was able to get to the airport and met one of the ladies, only 20 minutes late, and the other came out not long after that. Then we met up with Chris and I finally got to see the car…
I realized that all the years of living here have helped our coping skills a lot. I know that if this would have happened a few years ago I would have been stressed out. Turns out I was stressed about getting to the airport on time so our people wouldn’t be left alone! We’ve apparently developed this amazing “rally” defense in our family.
We left the car with our friend who will start getting it fixed, and headed home. I’m grateful that Chris wasn’t any further into his turn than he was. I don’t even want to think about what it would have been like for that truck to hit him directly in the door. I’m grateful that we’ve been blessed with another passenger vehicle to pack our family and visitors around in. Not that we didn’t do work trucks for a long time. It’s just a little more comfy when you’re 6 months pregnant, you know?
I’m also grateful for the man God put in my life to call my husband. Chris often gets a lot of flak from people because he is very black and white so to speak. He is incredibly honest and has more integrity than anyone I know. Sometimes people have a hard time with his honesty and desire to do the right thing. It’s, sadly, not normal in todays times. It’s hard for some to accept that he will stand up for what is right, no matter what. No matter how uncomfortable it might make people. He will speak the truth, even when people might not want to hear it or might not like it. He will put that above relationships. But, biblically, isn’t that what we’re all called to do? I am so grateful that because of those characteristics he was willing to stop and help a complete stranger that others were leaving there on the ground. In Haiti it’s not uncommon for that to happen because stopping means you take responsibility for the injured. I am grateful that my husband put Nadia’s needs before his own, even after just being in an accident himself. I am grateful for Chris. I am grateful for God’s hand of protection over him yesterday, enabling him to help someone who really needed his hands and feet.
While we’re on the subject of accidents, I was thinking about something that I was already planning on posting before all of this happened yesterday.
The road work in front of our house is almost done. Last week they finished doing some drainage work and moved the piles of gravel and sand out of the road. This means people have been driving a lot faster. Three weeks ago there were two accidents, a day after each other, along that stretch of road. In the last week we’ve heard a lot more squealing tires. And, because of the accidents it has everyone on high alert around here. Literally, when the squealing starts, everyone on the property freezes and waits to hear if there is going to also be a crash or bang. When it doesn’t happen we all exhale and go on doing what we were doing. We were thinking that maybe we should even start keeping track of how many squeals we hear in a day, just for fun.
Yesterday we realized that it wasn’t the corners that were causing the squeals. In fact, when they finished the drainage, there was a strip that covers the whole road that is gravel and has a bit of a dip. Anyone who has driven here will attest to the fact that Haitians hate pot holes. they will drive on the other side of the road into oncoming traffic to avoid them. The squealing we’re hearing is vehicles realizing at the last second that the strip is there and slamming on their brakes to slow down for it. Me? I personally think it’s a wiser choice to hit the hole than to cause an accident because of sudden braking, but who am I to tell anyone what to do???
And thus begins our game of counting cars.