Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day Five in Haiti - Port-au-Prince (1/9/10)

Our plan for today was to wake up at 7 AM, eat breakfast, meet Erick, drive up to Petionville (a ritzy suburb of Port-au-Prince), stop by an ATM to reload, and then take a three-hour bus ride down to Jacmel. Well, between last night at 9 PM and this morning, plans have changed. We were both pretty fatige (exhausted) from yesterday’s long journey, but had hoped that 10 hours of sleep would do the trick. Unfortunately, Adam couldn’t sleep longer than 20 minutes at a time until about 6 AM this morning. We’re not sure what’s going on with his body, but we know that it won’t be able to make a three-hour long bus journey anytime soon! I’ve contacted the school in Jacmel where we will be volunteering next week to let them know we won’t be there until Monday afternoon and we’re having Erick give Adam a blessing to help his body heal and recover. Adam and I have been eating the same food and drinking the same water, but he does have a history of a weak immune system, so we’re hoping that I stay healthy and that he recovers quickly. Until then, we plan on staying in Port-au-Prince and mainly at our hotel. On the bright side, we will be able to attend church this Sunday in Port-au-Prince, which will really make our week. Plus, I think both of our bodies could use the break. It’s been a very busy week so far.

We had tried to call Erick from our room’s phone, but discovered that we could only call the front desk with it. So, we asked them to send him up to our room when he got here (since Adam didn’t think he could walk all the way to the front desk to call Erick himself and I don’t speak Haitian!). During this time, I went downstairs to eat some breakfast and bring some food up for Adam. It was a breakfast buffet with coffeecake, bread and toast, peanut butter, jelly, fruit, and cornflakes! I enjoyed another tall glass of Haitian orange juice, but figured Adam wouldn’t really want anything too acidic (I was right).

When Erick got here, he was able to give Adam a blessing. It was all in Haitian, so I could only understand a small part of it, but Adam translated it for me later. It was a simple and comforting blessing and we both know that Adam will continue to get better and we will be able to continue our adventures in Haiti! Erick was also kind enough to leave and pick up some medicine and drop it back off at our hotel. We don’t know what we do without him! Since then, Adam’s been able to eat some solid foods, drink plenty of fluids, and finally get some much-needed rest! I’ve been napping, reading, and exploring the hotel. I also washed another round of clothes (these were pretty nasty from our hike in the rain!). In the middle of rinsing, the electricity went out (it’s done that on and off since we’ve been here). So, I just continued in the dark since the water still worked!

Lunch was an interesting experience. Adam was still sleeping and wasn’t feeling up for going down to the restaurant (and he still had food from breakfast if he got hungry) so I braved the dining room alone. Service is very laidback here, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just very different from the American waiters who pounce on you to fill up your water the moment after you’ve taken a sip. And for an indecisive person like me, I appreciate that I have plenty of time to study the menu and decide what I want without having to tell the waiter three times to give me more time. Most of the sandwiches were written in English, so I decided to go with a grilled chicken sandwich. That was easy enough to order – I could just point to it! For my drink, it got a bit more difficult. I was really craving the limeades we had last night (they mix Carnation evaporated milk in them and it makes them SO good…it’s in a cookbook we have at home, so we already have plans to recreate them – they taste like you are drinking a key lime pie…SO good!). Our waiter spoke about as much English as I spoke Creole, so my description in English, combined with hand gestures, was understood by him as lemonade. Though it wasn’t what I had envisioned, it was still good.

Meanwhile, back in the hotel room, I (Adam) was falling in and out of sleep. Not long after Karen went for some food, I heard an ice cream truck that drove by on the street below us and it was playing the immortal theme from the movie Titanic, Celine Dion’s “My heart will go on” in a very simplified high-pitched melody. Despite the poor condition of my body, my sense of humor was still intact and I had a good chuckle about that. Then, not long after that I was in the bathroom with the door open. The door to the bathroom and the door to our room are directly facing one another and with the power out, I had to keep the door open to avoid being in a dark cave. It was just my luck that during my bathroom visit, one of the hotel employees opened the door and was about to leave towels for us when I quickly reached to pull my pants up and yelled “Pita!” which means “Later!” and then she speedily closed the door and yelled through the door, “M’ap vini pita, wi!” which means “I’ll come back later, alright!”. I’m sure it gave both of us quite the shock. Talk about being caught with your pants down!

On a positive note, I’m feeling much better now. My body can tolerate solid food now and I’m getting some more energy now that I’ve slept most of the day away. Karen and I watched “The Bourne Supremacy” on my computer and walked around a little bit outside to get some fresh air. In our exploration of the Hotel we found that Mick Jagger has a room with his name on it. I never would have thought someone like Mick Jagger would come to this hotel, much less come to Haiti at all. I still feel weak but not near as bad as 6am this morning. I felt like I was going to die! The prayers of our friends, family, and the blessing this morning are really working. Thank you everyone!

Well, we ordered up room service and thanks to Adam’s amazing language abilities, I was finally able to get that key lime pie in a drink. It’s only 7 PM, but we are going to watch “The Bourne Ultimatum,” check our email, and head off to bed. You know, just a typical Saturday night for us. Only this time – we’re in Haiti!


disillusioned said...

All I have to say is:

1. You've both been very busy.

and 2. Cipro--NEVER leave the country without a good prescription filled of it! I took it to Mexico--and it "saved" the "day"--and night--and trip in general!

Feel better soon Adam! And maybe you can get some Cipro off the streets? Who knows!


Suze B Vinton said...

More pictures please :)

Amelia said...

It's great to hear all about your adventure. We've prayed for you several times each day, and will continue to do so. Keep having fun and being safe - we love you!

Reagan said...

I hope you guys are okay with the earthquake that hit Haiti. Sounds like you guys are right where the epicenter is...I know quite a few other people that are there right now. Praying that you're safe!