Tag Archives: Airplanes

Crazy World.

Haiti-Day One (a journal entry)

Well, I just saw my very first cockroach scuttle across the concrete floor of my bedroom from underneath my baggage…I must be far from home. We arrived in Cap Haitien this afternoon. The flight over the ocean in the puddle-jumper was beautiful; smooth and sunny, I was able to catch-up on some much-needed rest. Even as we were landing I started to see a whole different world; cows and dogs walking along the air strip, people hanging around inside the fencing, garbage piled up along the wall. Our baggage was delayed and eventually got to us on a cargo plane. Everyone told us to be flexible. It’s probably one of the words that was mentioned the most in preparing for our trip…’be flexible’. I’m starting to understand why. As soon as were out of the airport (and it’s a stretch to call it that) we walked out of the door into a cage surrounded by people wanting to sell things, children asking for money and water, men hoping to make a buck by carrying your luggage. Chickens scampered around and women carried big bins carefully balanced on their heads. The heat hits hard and the air is thick with humidity and the smell of Haiti.

Our trek through Cap Haitien was even more eye-opening and in looking back, the commotion at the airport seemed calm and orderly compared to the rest of the city. My world couldn’t have been more turned upside-down. I felt as though I saw every one of the one million people living in Cap and they all had something to sell, or buy, or move. The streets were filled with all sorts of commotion; venders lined the sidewalks selling the most random assortment of goods, every other table had piles of sugarcane with women sitting behind it on the worlds smallest chair chopping some more, cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles all had their own rhythm for maneuvering around the city without hitting people, each other or the crater-sized potholes, goats nibbled atop piles of smoldering garbage street-side, gas stations were watched by armed guards, and every once-in-awhile a UN truck or tank plows through traffic. Yes, this is indeed a different world.

After we survived our bumpy hour-long ride we got to our oasis-of-a-house in Haut Limbe. We settled ourselves and then went for a hike up the mountain to see a reservoir that was built to bring water to the entire community. What a view. This place in infinitely more beautiful than what I had thought it would be. I hate to say it, but I was expecting dirt hills with the occasional dried-up shrub. Further down the hill some little kids were singing at the top of their lungs while carrying a pole. The froze as soon as they spotted white folks. All-of-a-sudden they started yelling out “BONSWA” and waiving their hands over their heads to get our attention. All little ways up some boys sang out while running some goats down a path until they spotted us. I definitely feel like a spectacle; Caucasian, female, blonde, blue eyes. Everyone stops what they are doing to look at us. Some shout out “BLANC!”

As we settle-in for the night my mind is racing. What kind of crazy world have I been dropped into?



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We’re Off!

So the kids and I are heading out to Calgary today to spend some time with two Grandpa’s, one Grandma, two Great-Grandma’s, one Great-Grandpa, a couple aunt’s and a random assortment of other lovable people. The kids are BEYOND excited to being going on an airplane…which reminds me, I have to go! Hopefully I can do some posts while I’m there, but we’ll have to see. There’s Ikea and Pottery Barn and H&M and Banff….oh boy!

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Yesterday James and I decided to take the day to do some fun things with the kids. We called this F-Day because it was a ‘Family Fun Day’ and it just so happened to fall on a Friday (it’s also somewhat of a joke from when James worked at Prov…but that is a story that he should tell). We started out by taking the kids to their annual doctor’s appointment. It went really well but apparently I have monsters for children, either that or bean stalks. Rhys is in the 90th percentile for height and Amelia is in the 105th. I just can’t get away from 6 foot freaks 🙂 Just kidding.  After seeing the pediatrician we made a few random stops and then surprised the kids with a trip to the Aviation Museum. They were both really excited to get to see airplanes so up close. I thought that it would just be Rhys shreeking with excitement, but Amelia was right along side of him running from airplane to airplane pointing out all of the cool things. It was a good day to go since the museum puts on a Hallowe’en bash every year so all of their decorations were up. They had random bloody arms and hanging pirates everywhere! Good wholesome fun. Both James and I like airplanes (although he knows way more about them then I do) so it was a neat thing to share with the kids.

 After seeing all of the planes we went to Tim Horton’s and got them a big box of Tim Bits, which was equally exciting to them. It’s sick how many dough balls those kids can pack back. After spending a few hours at home in the afternoon we went out again to make a few more stops; getting James a jacket, buying Hallowe’en candy, getting Rhys a costume, buying the kids a Christmas gift (secretly). We finished off by going to Pizza Hut for dinner. This was a total mistake this time. Although, when is it ever right to go to Pizza Hut? It took FOREVER to get our food and by the end of our time there the waiter looked as though he was having a mental breakdown. unfortunately I’m not joking about this. Upon leaving the restaurant we noticed him leaning against the back of the building with his face pressed up against the brick. We had a good chuckle about this and then wondered if we should go ask him if he was actually okay. We didn’t, thinking that it might make it worse.

All-in-all F-Day was a success, something that we’ll definitely do again. I think that it’s important for the kids too see James take a day off just to spend time with them and for all of us to have some quality time doing something out of the ordinary. I’d love to hear any ideas or memories that you guys have with spending time with your families, or something that you do right now with them. I could use some ideas for next time!


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