We have made it to Haiti. Wednesday was a full day of traveling. We arrived in Port au Prince late afternoon and met our driver who then took us to a guest house for the night. The kids were able to play with three of the four girls who live at the guest house. It was nice for them to have some kids to play with right off the bat. We had a huge thunderstorm welcome us on our first night. It was sooo loud - we were quite a ways up the mountain - I don't know if that made it louder or not, but it was definitey louder than Indiana storms. It was a welcome storm though. With the storms usually comes cooler temperatures.
Yesterday we visited three different grocery stores. One of the things that I was most nervous about was the food. After seeing the supermarket, I really had nothing to worry about. We were able to get just about anything that we would have in the states. Even some of the same brands of food that I buy regularly. The only catch is that the items are about double the price. It was also really difficut to shop and plan for a month since we won't be making a trip back to the mainland for a month or so. We'll see where we're at in a month if I did a good job or not! It's also tricky keeping the frozen food frozen and cold food cold since the stores are about a 2 hour drive the the boat dock. Then we'll have a two hour boat ride to the island tomorrow.
After shopping we made our way to Dan and Joy Irvine's place. They live right on the coast and we were able to snorkle with the kids a bit yesterday. It was so refreshing and it was just what the kids needed. They have really done so well. Morgan seems to be more of a quiet observer. Each night we've talked about things they saw that day that they thought was interesting, scary, different, neat, etc. Morgan usually has quite a bit to talk about and Jaron just listens for the most part. Jaron has been pretty emotional. I think some of it is due to being tired, but he is also having tummy trouble. He's on the toilet with diarrehea multiple times a day. I think the malaria medicine is just running its course through his little body. He isn't complaining and we're making sure we're keeping him extra hydrated.
Nights have been tough. I (Renee) haven't slept well either of the two nights we've been here. First, it is very hot, even at night. I also just have a lot running through my mind and can't seem to shut down. There are also a lot of different noises - dogs barking, roosters crowing at 4 in the morning, the waves of the ocean, the local taxi's and other traffic driving by and blaring their horns all hours of the night. Once we get to the island, things will be a bit calmer. Praying I'll find GOOD sleep soon :)
We head for La Ganove tomorrow morning on the boat. Hopefully we'll have calm waters to cross. Yesterday the water was very calm, but today it is pretty rough with lots of white caps. It's still very sunny and clear so I'm not to sure what makes the difference.
I know some of you are reading and are curious about making cross cultural trips with your little ones in the near future. It has definitely been an exhausting, emotional trip so far. My advice is to pack plenty of snacks that your kids love. (Which I did not do) When they are adjusting to everything else culturally, if you have picky kids, food is not something you want to battle. It's so important that they are eating something that if you have things they like, it's helpful. Also, try not to schedule too much the first week. You're going to need time to adjust. Bring games and activities for the kids that you can do with them. There is so much change that they need your attention even more than home. I also had friends and family make cards for the kids and I brought them with us. I gave both kids their first card last night and that REALLY lifted their spirits. I'm so thankful that they'll be able to hear from so many of you. It seriously helped them feel "home" after they read the card.
I'll try to post some more pictures soon. I've posted some on facebook if you're friends with us on there.
If you have any specific questions, feel free to leave them in the comments and I'll do my best to answer!
Thanks so much for the prayers and following along!