Monday, August 23, 2010

The Flight

We got to the airport crazy early.

The kids and I moaned about our early departure when my dad announced the time we needed to roll out of the driveway the next morning.  I'm so glad he ignored our groaning and made us get to the airport ridiculously early.

Several stupid things happened at that Houston check-in counter.

We had too many bags.  I have no idea how that happened.  We counted and recounted.

No one make jokes about me not being able to count to twelve because obviously it's no joking matter.

Nothing like rearranging your bags in front of everyone in line at the airport.

We had to take everything out of the extra duffel and put it into other underweight duffels.  Right in front of everyone we're yanking out undies, sports bras, and other super weird things you need to live in Haiti.  Surge protectors, dishes, wheat noodles. I'm sure the people around us thought we were insane.  Moving to Haiti makes you the weirdest packer ever.  Hands down.  The weirdest.

One of the bags we carried on the plane was full of cheese.  See.  The weirdest packers ever.

Ashton was a little cranky.  He and the beloved Boo Boo found the perfect seat while the rest of his family frantically fixed the bag situation.  I love this little boy!

Boo Boo is Ashton's favorite companion.  Last year when Ashton got his new animal, he wanted to name him Boobie.  How do you tell your kid that they aren't naming something Boobie?  I didn't know.  So I just put on my do not argue with me face and then said, "  Why don't you come up with a different name?"  That worked for Ashton.  That would have never worked for Anson.  He would have asked me so many questions and backed me into a corner until I caved and frantically explained to a five year old what a Boobie is and why he can't name his stuffed animal one.  Praise God for third borns, right?

Anson's passport got flagged.  There was an issue with it.  We'll have to get that fixed soon.  For the time being we totally played dumb.

Lots of craziness at the Houston check-in counter.  Thankfully my dad was there to interpret and to be nice to the lady that I didn't think was all that nice. 

One perk...they informed us that we would NOT have to go pick up our own bags and transport them to customs in Miami.  This was glorious news!  We thought Jason and I would be responsible for getting 12 giant duffels and 4 crazy kids through the airport in Miami.  It would be the sporting event of all sporting events, and we found out we got to sit it out.  Awesome!

The plane rides were pretty much uneventful.

Hudson became quite the expert on what to do if we happened to crash.  Good thing because I always get distracted when the presentation is being made.

He played with his buckle most of one plane ride.  The other three boys buried their faces in their gameboys.  I have never been more thankful that we limit their exposure to these things.  I hardly ever heard a word from them while they played their little game machines. 

Hudson being the silliest kid ever.  Can you tell he's the baby of the family?  He knows it for sure.

Ashton and Boo-Boo with their pilot wings.

The airport in Haiti was hot and chaotic.  I was so thankful to have Jason with us helping.  There would have been no way for me to do it on my own.  Getting the bags from the baggage claim to the giant truck the school sent to transport us was quite the sweaty feat.

We were so thankful to see Aaron and the trucks/guys that were waiting for our tired crew.

On the drive "home" it hit me.

We're here.  All of us.  In this crazy place.

It felt like an ocean was inside my chest.  Waves of "this is kind of exciting" and waves of "what on earth have we done" rocked back and forth inside me.

We said good-bye to everything we knew.  Everything clean.  Everything predictable.  Everything that made sense.  Everything we had learned to be successful and good at in the States.

So many "news" and "differents" were waiting for us.  New language.  New school.  New jobs.  New friends.  New church.  Different home.  Different schedule.  Different culture.  Different.  New.

Walking into this country is very much so like walking into a new relationship.  So much uncertainty.  So much to learn about one another.

My relationship with Haiti right now is pretty rocky.  There are times when I really like her.  Lots of moments I am tired of her.  Sick of her smell.  Sick of her dirt.  Sick of how confusing she can be and how inept she makes me feel.

I'm trying to remember that every relationship takes time.  It takes work.  It takes patience and perseverance.

Haiti is being a lot more patient with me than I am with her.  So far she's been a gentle friend.  It's me that needs the work.


Megan said...

Brock told me about the craziness that is the Haiti airport. Then he tried to convince me to go and visit y'all by myself. I am scared silly of that airport now!

Bob & Judy said...

A pattern we see over and over when people (including us) move to Mexico:

First few weeks, kinda panicky, confused, but hey, it's an adventure.

Then you kinda settle in and think, This is ok - we can do this.

About 3-6 months, a wave of "This is stupid. Why am I living where you fight all the time to figure out the basics?" Many people leave right here.

If you get through that, the place starts to feel normal. Hang on.

Susan, wife of 1, mother of 4 said...

You're doing so great, Heather! Bob&amp are right. Exactly right about the timing of the NORMAL feelings. I'm convinced that after awhile, no matter where you have moved, you adjust somewhat to the culture and it won't seem so weird. You are AWESOME to say that things need adjusting in you. AWESOME, Heather! Keep going. You can do it! Those Haitians are SO LUCKY that you are there. G

Cheryl said...

Isn't the airport totally nuts now? You get off a plane, into an air-conditioned hallway and then they bus you to the baggage claim where it is 120 degrees! This is more the way the airport was the first time I went to Haiti in 2003. Oh well, I guess no one plans on an earthquake messing up the airport. :)

Thanks for sharing your feelings here with us. Maybe I will see you in Haiti at some point. My friend Coby DeBlaeij is headed back to Haiti in Sept 7. She had been teaching at QCS before the EQ. Now it sounds like she will probably be getting a teacher aiding position which she would LOVE!


Brian Miller said...

Heather and Aaron, these feeling of "craziness" will pass and then the adventure begins. Be open to it. embrace it. God is So Good!

Pamela said...


You don't know me, but I have been following your blog for a few weeks. Love your style of writing and am intrigued as wait to hear what God does next.
Have been praying for your peace.


mandi said...

thinking about you...

praying for you.

The Kramer Family said...

KK told me our of the blue last night when we were driving home that she wanted a rhino like Ashton. Except she was going to name hers,"Mrs. Boo Boo."

Where in the heck do you get stuffed Rhinos??? Haven't seen many of those.

Love you bunches!!!

Hendrick Family said...


The judge gave all the kids one of those stuffed animals at the finalization. I think they are Sandra Boynton brand though.

Just looked it up...these are so cute!!

Anthony & Sharon said...

I understand exactly what you mean by the waves. Kinda like much going on at the same time. So much peace in knowing you're following God yet so much anxiety over going grocery shopping...all wrapped up into one deep thought that you wouldn't trade any of your life for the world and that God is so gracious!
Excited for you all!