What an adventure! As I write this post from my phone, I realize I need to take more pics with my phone. I’m going to try to give a day by day account of this trip.
I last wrote as I was at the airport before leaving home. From there, the rest of our travels were definitely blessed by God. That is the only reason I can think of as to why we made it. At CVG, we boarded on time and all looked great for our flight to Philly. We were able to get some breakfast at Subway once we were past security. Then, we had to de-ice the plane, which added extra time. We were late to Philadelphia and arrived at our gate there at the time the plane was supposed to take off, and although the door was closed, the plane was still there. Once the gate agents saw there was a group of us headed to Haiti and it would be way too much trouble to try & rebook us, etc. they reopened the door and let us on. If you know airlines, they NEVER reopen that door. We were told to pick an open seat and sit. That’s what we did.
In Philadelphia, we sat….and sat….and sat…for more than 2.5 hours waiting to de-ice and take off. We left Philadelphia about 90 minutes before our flight from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) was supposed to leave. We arrive to FLL and looked at them flight on the airline website where it showed we had just missed the flight and one of our team members received an email saying he had been rebooked out of Miami the next morning. We didn’t rush right off the plane.
Once we deplaned, our team leader asked about rebooking. The gate agent asked what flight we were supposed to be on. When she told him Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the agent told us the flight was still there and it was just a couple gates down. We went down and saw that, indeed, the flight hadn’t left yet and they were currently boarding. There was another group on a missions trip in front of us. As we all stepped up to scan our tickets and board, we had all been rebooked – the other group and ours – about 20 people. They hadn’t given our seats away, so they rebooked us to this flight – and even had our bags taken from the storage area (bc we’d already been rebooked) and loaded to the plane. We made it on this flight. This flight that was scheduled to leave at 1:55 originally, but was delayed in Haiti coming to FLL, so it was still there when we arrived.
We arrived in Port-au-Prince (PAP) about 6:30 PM or so, but we made it. We had to pay our $10 “tourist tax” and go through customs before heading to baggage claim – which is also an experience. It’s super crowded, so a couple of us watched for and pulled our bags (we had a unique travel tag on them from Servants In Fellowship) while others loaded them to the carts. Some of the luggage (in general) had been thrown onto the carousel from the plane, that at one point, several suitcases started falling off. It was just an experience to go through. Nothing like any of my other travels.
It was only by God’s grace that we made it. As much as Satan did not want us here, God protected us and provided a path. We were all exhausted and super hungry when we arrived at the guest house, but we made it. I’m excited to see what the rest of the week has in store!