You know you’re in Haiti when…

You get excited that the roads have lines and guardrails.

Yep, it’s true. That picture that you saw a few days ago was in fact taken in Haiti. We were overjoyed at the fact that the road project has resulted in pothole free, asphalt covered roads. A few weeks ago we saw the beginnings of the line painting happening, but then witnessing the lines with the guardrails, together, was almost too much. There are places south or Port au Prince that have guardrails and lines. We’ve noticed when driving there that things felt more “civilized”. As in, people weren’t driving all over the road, all the time.

Going to Port on Monday I noticed a big difference in the way people were driving. The only vehicles that were still driving in the middle of the road were the occasional piblik – the big school buses used as city to city transportation. Everyone else was sticking to their own side and in fact driving slower. Even Chris was driving more like he does in North America, and the funny thing is that he didn’t even realize he was doing it until I pointed it out.

So yes, my friends, lines and guardrails in Haiti are a good thing!

You get your dog spayed and you know you’re definitely not in North America.

We had Annie spayed on Tuesday. Chris took her out to Deschapelles with Dr. Tony. Dr. Tony is our vet from St. Marc that makes house calls. I’ve written about him before. He’s a great guy. Very serious. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him smile. And I’ve tried cracking jokes, even! He comes by regularly to give Annie her shots etc. If we have any issues we just call and he comes by with his bag and does what he needs to do. When we ask him how much to pay for the visit it’s hard to get an answer. Often he’ll just tell us to give him money for transport, which would be the equivalent of about $0.75. We obviously don’t do that, but it’s amazing that he doesn’t charge us more.

Dr. Tony made arrangements for Annie to go out to Hospital Albert Schweitzer on Tuesday to do the deed. Chris and Olivia went which I stayed home to catch up on work. I got regular reports.

Apparently when they arrived the room reserved for this didn’t have any electricity at the time, so no lights. The vets decided to take a table out into the courtyard and do the deed there. So, there was our dog, on a table in the court yard, with her female parts being hacked up. Chris and Olivia got to watch the whole thing and Chris said it was fascinating. Olivia didn’t freak out and when she came home she said, “Mommy, Annie got blood!”

Annie has been doing great. Dr. Tony came by on Wednesday to give her some antibiotics as a preventative measure. She’s supposed to get her bandages off today I think. I’m hoping that maybe the operation will calm her down a bit more? We’ll see.

You can see a US military helicopter up close.

Yesterday we had a very cool opportunity! We decided to go for a walk at Club Indigo. Chris had taken Olivia the day before and said that the US military had some people in to do a humanitarian project. Yesterday when we started on our walk we saw some of the soldiers out by the two helicopters so we wandered over and introduced ourselves and asked if Olivia could take a peek. Really it was her daddy that was most interested :)

The soldiers were super nice. They were from Louisiana and are here on the front end of a clinic and school project in Gonaives. They let Olivia get up in the helicopter and we got to take a peek and have a nice visit. They were actually getting ready to take off and make a trip to Gonaives to do some work. We were able to sit on the side rails of the other chopper that wasn’t going and watch them take off. Literally about 50 feet away. It was SO cool!

The down side is that I didn’t have my camera. The stupid part is that I looked at it on my desk before we left and thought, “I don’t need to take it. We’ve walked there so many times before and there isn’t much new to see.” Grr.

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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

One thought on “You know you’re in Haiti when…

  1. I love your writing Leslie! Thanks so much for sharing your life with all of us.

    Oh – I have one more “you know you’re in Haiti”. It happened to me just yesterday. Here it is:

    You know you’re in Haiti when people you haven’t seen in a while says, “You’ve gained some weight, haven’t you?”. Yeah, thanks for pointing that out. Only in Haiti.

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