Thursday, February 4, 2010

Monday Adventures

Monday was a very exciting day for me - my good friend Shauna was due to arrive from Canada. She had spent 3 months here this summer in the same community, so I was excited to spend time with her here, with our friends. Monday was also a very clear reminder of how nothing goes as planned in Haiti and of how a lot of the time, I have no idea of what is going on.

Now, her plane was due to arrive at 12:45 in Cap. Me and 3 of our mutual friends (Alin, Ben and Calvin) were planning to greet her and pick her up. Normally, this should go smoothly. However, on this particular day, both of the vehicles we normally have access to, were not available, so we had to make other arrangements. My friend Alin was able to borrow a truck from a friend so that we would be able to bring Shauna and her luggage home without using public transport.

Monday morning. The plan was to leave at 10 in order to get to the airport on time.

10:05 - Janelle begins to wander through town to find her 3 friends and the vehicle that we are supposedly borrowing.

10:30 - I'm at the end of my driveway, 3 friends have been found, but no vehicle. I innocently ask where it is and Alin tells me it's in Cap. Alright - how are we getting to Cap? Public transportation! I haven't taken the bus yet here, so I was kind of excited to do that.

10:45 - We're still standing at the end of my driveway. When I ask why, I'm told we're waiting for a motorcycle to get a ride to the "bus station". I laughed out loud at hearing this, because really it's about a 7 minute walk to the end of the road to the "bus station" and we had already been waiting for 15 minutes. Anyways, a motorcycle finally comes and we get a ride to the "bus station".

11:00 - we're waiting on the side of the road for a tap-tap going to Cap to come by. They are all full and nobody is stopping.

11:20 - a bus comes by, we get on. (Public transport in Haiti is usually old pick up trucks or school buses). But it's going the wrong direction. It's going to Limbe, not Cap. When I ask what we are doing, I'm told we are going to Limbe to see if we can find a bus going to Cap. Alright, but i'm starting to get a bit concerned that we won't make it to the airport on time.

11:35 - we make it to Limbe, but we don't get off the bus. Again, I ask why. Now they tell me that the bus will turn around and go back towards Cap. Okay. Shortly after, as we pass by Haut Limbe, we ask the bus to stop because Alin forgot the 2 propane tanks that Mama wanted us to fill in Cap, so we pick those up. Finally we are on our way.

12:20 - we start entering Cap. Alin had said that we will pick up the truck when we got to Cap, however there was now a change of plans. Alin and Calvin will stop at the gas station to fill the propane tanks and get the truck, and Ben and I will take a taxi to the airport to meet Shauna. Ben and I get off the bus at the bus station and are able to find a taxi - a real taxi that is a car, not a motorcycle! Luckily the traffic was extremely light and we were able to drive up to the airport at 12:47.

1:00 - no Shauna.

1:30 - no Shauna. remember there are no arrivals/departures monitors in Cap Int'l Airport and as far as we know, the plane is supposed to arrive at 12:45.

2:00 - no Shauna, but Alin and Calvin arrive with the truck.

2:30 - no Shauna

3:00 - Shauna finally arrives! Apparently her plane was delayed in leaving Ft. Lauderdale and they had to stop in the Bahamas for fuel. I was so excited to see her and get a good hug. The only problem was, her luggage did not arrive from Minneapolis to Ft. Lauderdale. So, as it turns out, we could have taken public transport home - but oh well.

At this time, we still hadn't eaten, so we stopped at a restaurant for a bite to eat before heading back to Haut Limbe. It was a long day, I was very tired, but I was very happy to see my friend.


The Happy Mom said...

What a great story! Exactly how it is! When I had been there for a few months, I decided to take the bus back from Limbe by myself. I missed my stop and rode all the way to Cap and then back again. Of course everyone on the bus knew what had happened to me and found it to be hilarious. :)

I'm glad your friend got there safe and sound! :)

The Happy Mom said...

Oh, umm...I'm new to leaving comments...this is Pam Wooldridge (Rohloff).

Rose :) said...

Love this story. Totally reminds me how when you ask a question there you only get part of the answer. And it's not till later that it all makes sense - like why you had to get on a bus going the wrong way.

Janelle said...

When were you here Pam? I vaguely remember hearing that you spent some time here. What did you do? Where did you live? Going all the way to Cap and back is a bit out the way, I guess. :)