Sometimes traveling seems not like real life to me. How is it that today I am here and tomorrow I will be there? As if traveling is a dream (or the everyday life that is punctuated by the trips is a dream), just doing what needs done until the next trip falls into place.
This week gets to be one of those weeks. A week where today I am here and tomorrow I am there. Where the trip will fly by, but stay in my memory forever.
|Sunrise from the plane to Haiti in March 2005.|
12 years ago, a trip to Haiti was my first time out of the country via airplane. I remember:
- wearing tank tops and skirts that I made myself
- riding in the back of trucks on benches and bumpy roads
- the smell (oh how I remember the smell)
- the beautiful smiles of the Haitian people
- how the people I met didn't know how old they were
- the people lived in huts and cooked on open fire
- it being the first time I had really been out of my culture and comfort
- at the time it made me think I wouldn't make for a good missionary (mostly because of food, I was a very picky eater then)
- turning 21 the day we left and the whole plane singing me happy birthday and a little girl coloring a birthday picture for me
- thinking and daydreaming about going back
Since then, I have become a semi-regular traveler when finances and days off allow. This will be my 7th trip out of the country, but my first time re-visiting a country I have been to before. And I couldn't be more excited!
This is where I am going:
(Link to video: Ikondo Guest Village)
This trip sort of fell into my lap. I have followed and supported the Hands and Feet Project in Haiti for at least 10 years now. (They started in 2004) I have actually tried to go on a trip with them before, but the timing wasn't yet right.
The timing now, however, seems to be just right.
Sometime last year they sent an email about an opportunity called "Sponsor and Go". This meaning, if you would commit upfront to a year of sponsoring one of their children, a generous donor would match that with covering your in country costs for a trip, you just needed to be able to get yourself there. (Which wasn't matching but rather almost triple matching the cost of sponsorship) So of course my first thought was, "why wouldn't I do that?! Sign me up!"
The hardest part of the whole thing was choosing which child to sponsor. All are orphans and all are in need and all of them are just too cute to choose between. But I chose and his name is Emmanuel. He is 13 and I get to meet him this week! (I think)
|Emmanuel's School Photo|
This week looks like a lot of unknown to me. I think I get to meet Emmanuel. I think it will be an amazing experience. I know I am traveling with a group of people I have never met of which I know very little about.
We will be truly off the grid and unplugged. The location we are staying at runs off generators and has limited access to the outside world. I will not be able to communicate or blog or post photos while there. (Don't worry, mom, I'm sure I will be totally safe.) I will do my best to keep an accurate journal while there and blog about the trip upon return.
Today will be filled with the usual trip preparation of packing and re-packing and trying not to over or under pack.
Tomorrow will be filled with travel and new people and I'm not really sure what else!
Until I return...