Greetings from Haiti!
Over the next 5 days, I will be taking you along on the trip of lifetime with me and three other Lubbockites. However, before we get started, let me give you some background information on why we've traveled thousands of miles.
Sondra's Song is a Lubbock-based organization, founded by Sandi Turner, aimed to helping disadvantaged children succeed. On the South Plains, Sondra's Song works with foster kids, giving them the tools they need to make the transition out of the system and into adulthood. However, their reach extends far past the South Plains. For the past three years, Sondra's Song has supported New Vision Haiti, an orphanage here in Montrouis, Haiti. This is Sandi Turner's fifth trip to this poverty stricken nation. The two missions of Sondra's Song, may be thousands of miles apart, but they have one goal, giving children a future.
Now that you're up to speed, let me update you on our whirlwind of a day.
The team consists of myself and three other people, Sandi Turner, her 9-year-old son Jake and Tanya Russell, a Nurse Practitioner who is making her third journey to this country after falling in love with Haiti almost two years ago.
The team assembled before the West Texas sun rose on Tuesday at Lubbock International Airport. From the Hub City we flew to Dallas, then Fort Lauderdale and finally Port Au Prince, the capital city of Haiti.
The day consisted of a lot of running and some close calls. We barely made it to each of our flights! Oh, and did I mention the amount of luggage this group was hauling? Between the four of us, 16 bags! It wasn't that we're heavy packers though. Most of the luggage was filled with supplies that this orphanage desperately needs.
The flight from Florida was just under two hours, and the view from the air of this tiny island nation was breathtaking. From the air, you see rolling green mountains up against an endless ocean. However, the second you land, you quickly realize how poverty stricken this country is.
The staff from the orphanage welcomed us with open arms and we boarded a bus to take us about an hour away, to Montrouis.
Imagine traffic in New York City, and then multiply that by ten, that's what the roads are like here in Haiti! Everyone is honking and running each other off the roads, but somehow accidents are very uncommon!
As we drove through Port Au Prince to our destination, we saw constant reminders of the devastation that struck three years ago. Buildings still sit crumpled and thousands are still living in tarp shanties after the earthquake. I looked out the bus window to see a constant stream of people either herding goats, carrying heavy jugs on their heads or busily pushing though to their destinations.
Twelve hours after leaving Lubbock, we made it to Montrouis, Haiti. Tomorrow, we head to the orphanage to meet the children. Stay tuned. From Haiti, with love.
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