**as usual, if you read this and there’s no pictures, check back in 15-20 min! The internet here makes it super difficult to do anything that requires long online uploads/downloads!**
**Internet is officially terrible tonight. Can’t load any photos! Will have to try tmw!**
So. Much. Pressure. LOL! Kris just told me “don’t disappoint! We have tons of people waiting for these posts! Make sure its good!” HA! Well, if you read my quick bits from earlier today, you could probably understand that my ideals of a wonderful, magical, disneyland fantasmical experience of a lifetime was going to be short-lived! Our morning began at 3:00am (45 minutes before our alarm) when our youngest crawled into bed with us…sigh. Today, of all days, to have trouble sleeping…
3:45 our alarm went off, to which Abby groaned and stuffed her head under the covers while Kris and I rolled out of bed and hit the ground running. Thank God we’ve done this trip before! We had literally everything packed and ready to roll out the door, all we needed was the passengers to not be wearing pajamas and to rid themselves of the caveman-morning-hair. Our incredible next door neighbor was waiting in the driveway for us at 4:25am to drive us to the airport – THANK YOU MELISSA!!!!!! – and we made it to the airport with 4 large suitcases (all stuffed with donations and food), 5 carry-on suitcases, and 5 backpacks. Oh, and 5 people – so far we haven’t left anyone behind! So far so good…
As soon as we walked in the revolving door of PDX airport (an hour early to our flight which was no big deal last time we flew and there was no reason to think otherwise at PDX at 5am), we knew this day wasn’t going to go as planned. While every other flight desk had small normal size lines of people waiting, the Delta desk had a massive line of crammed bodies winding through the maze of line barrier, down the hall and then turning a corner…it took us awhile to find the end. As we stood there, we began to panic. We can’t miss this flight. We can’t miss this flight. Time to pray, time to post, time to ask people to pray, time for this line to MOVE.
Thankfully, it moved quickly, but not quite quickly enough – as soon as we checked our bags we tore down the hall to security – thankfully Kris’ TSA pre-check was applied to our tickets as well – and we got through security. As we are hustling through the horrific terrorist-threat detecting arches, Kris gets flagged and asked to hang back. AWESOME. Literally, our flight LEAVES the gate in 5 minutes and we still have to run down to our gate. Patience, trust, and pixie dust. Shoot, forgot that doesn’t work – all of us were just praying “please let us make it, please let us make it, please let us make it”. They finally decided to give Kris the stamp of TSA approval and he strung his belt back through his pants as we are all five running down the halls of PDX toward our gate – (simultaneously dragging 5 carry-on bags and 5 backpacks – I’m sure it was quite the entertaining scene).
As we arrive out of breath at our gate, we hear a huge clank as the flight attendants are clanking the huge metal door over the slinky-walkway. I pretty much thought Kris was going to have a coronary right then and there, I’ve never seen him so freaked out! Breathlessly he bum-rushes the big door and the flight attendant with huge eyes yelling “wait, wait, wait! We have to get on that plane!” The lady took a couple huge eye blinks at him and said, “sir, we are just re-greasing the door, it was creaking. Don’t worry, we’ll open it again in a second.” Yes. Okay. We’re alive, we are getting on the plane. Then came yet another wrench. Because the flight was packed full (as in every single seat of the massive plane from PDX to Atlanta, Georgia was filled with a booty) our seats had been assigned on one-offs between 4 sections and rows. The two girls were together, Braeden sandwiched between two strangers, myself sandwiched between strangers and Kris sandwiched between two strangers. On top of that, when asked if they wouldn’t mind swapping a seat so that Kris could sit near his teary child (as Abby began to freak out about sitting by herself without a parent), no one would switch. We were gearing up for a long 4.5 hour flight across the country.
As Abby sat quietly bawling, finally the lady next to Kris had a change of heart and swapped places with her – WHEW. Thank you LORD. After that – it was much smoother sailing to Atlanta. I have to tell you, I loved flying Delta (other than the sardine-packed first flight and random seating), the in flight entertainment is awesome, you don’t pay extra for movies and there’s a huge selection, and the service was super friendly and wonderful! We would definitely fly them again! So, I say smoother, but that’s a relative term. We hit so much turbulence it was literally like being on a disneyland ride (without the fun cartoon characters), and after we arrived in Atlanta, one of our party (I’ve been sworn to secrecy) was so discombobulated that the airport janitors had to clean up a fun mess on a back hallway… (oops)…
The second leg of our flight we got to the gate an hour early (due to a long layover) and made sure to swap our seats early-on to be seated together! It was a much more fun trip – until we hit just over the country of Haiti, and then the clouds started rolling in. It got super bumpy – like what you see in the movies when the plane is about to crash (no like seriously, I was thinking that any time the oxygen masks were going to come flopping out at me like a clown in a fun house, and I was rolling the flight attendant “use your cushion as a flotation device” instructions in my head. To make it worse, it was dark outside, and then the lighting started – it was literally surrounding us on all sides! At that point, everyone on the plane got so distracted with seeing the lighting that they forgot about the bumps, except that Abby decided to get everyone excited and started screaming and making roller coaster noises (out of adrenaline rush, not fear) every time the lightning came. By the time we finally touched wheels down, the cabin was so tense that the entire plane erupted in nervous laughter and applause for the pilot! 🙂 If you’re worried about planes crashing, that would not have been the flight to be on. Thankfully, Kris and I aren’t super worried about that, so while its uncomfortable at times, it wasn’t too bad. Our kids were nervous though – but the lightning helped make it a show rather than a terrifying experience! (Thanks, God!) LOL
The Port-au-Prince airport was pretty quiet – a huge change from the afternoon arrival that Kris and I had last time – and we made it through customs and out to the shuttle with the “bodyguard” only having to forcibly remove one sneaky man from trying to coerce tips he didn’t earn from us! haha
It has been pouring and thundering (like shaking our room thundering) and lighting since we arrived in Haiti at 6:45pm, but seems like its settling down a bit. We took the kids down to dinner in the hotel restaurant, then back upstairs for bed. What a LONG day! I think they are finally asleep – its 10:15pm here now, and we are up again at 7am to head down to breakfast and then out to the orphanage to play!
For tomorrow, we will be playing with littles at the orphanage (the ones too young for school – so babies up to 3-4years, or the older ones who didn’t have any uniform clean!), until about 1pm when W will come home with the kids from school! Hoping we can take some photos and video of their first few moments – but I’m sure we’ll come home with boatloads of pics.
Please be praying for that introduction tomorrow! Our kids are worried about communicating with W since they don’t really know any Creole, we keep telling him that his language is going to be a language of play and food and that if they ask, he will teach them how to say things in creole, and the translator will help a ton! For the kids, its an entirely new experience so its nice that Kris and I know what that first day is like so we can help walk them through it.
I’m sorry I don’t have anything more crazy interesting for you today! LOL Hopefully this isn’t a waste of your hour reading! 🙂 Thank you for your support, the messages we’ve received today of prayers and encouragement! We’ll talk to you all tomorrow! 🙂