first things first

To get up the mountain in Mizak, you must first get past the river. Hurricane Sandy dumped plenty of rain in Haiti so the river was not passable in its “usual” way of driving through it. Add to that a protest blocking the road to the river because residents were unhappy no attention was made to help clean/build a bridge that was passable.

So we were delayed a day in Port au Prince where we did get to meet the team that had just come down the mountain and were “carried” across the water by daring/brave Haitians. They road on the backs of walkers to get to the other side. We thought we would have to do that too.

Protest done – we left for our three hour drive (yes, I thought the Gilligan’s theme in there.) We arrive at the river and a truck/taptap was waiting for us at the other side.

Seeing the river we faced our options of finding a hotel, getting carried on a Haitian’s back or as we watched the Haitian’s walking strong together…we could walk across with their help. Decision made to go for it, our Zumba instructor was ready to see her son on the other side. She said she would go first walking. The Haitians loaded up our suitcases on their heads (I’m saying – not just thinking…NO, not two at a time, that is 100 lbs and my computer is in that bag!!) They went, with two suitcases and no mishaps…..THANK YOU LORD!

Next the remaining three of us plunged our feet in the water. Thankfully there was concrete under the surface that wasn’t too filled with debris like other parts of the river. I had a Haitian on either side of me and my shoes/sandals kept getting turned by the current. It felt like walking with flippers on. A smart Haitian told me to look forward not at my feet or the water. And somehow I understood him even though he didn’t speak English. THAT was the best wisdom of the day. We plodded forward and were met with cheers and hugs by our host.

Did I say I was the youngest in the group….yup. I had some brave and fabulous women with me and what a way to start our adventure.

A friend’s passage for us before we left was Psalm 121….as I read to the ladies later that night we had a good God chuckle.

A song of ascents.

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.


8 thoughts on “first things first

  1. Oh, how precious!! Balancing your luggage above the rushing water… symbolism alright! Look ahead, not at your feet (which you can’t see for the turbulence.) Such good advice and a memorable metaphor. I loved reading this. Will be back to catch up!

    • I didn’t even intend that Heidi…YES – I need to keep that look ahead in mind. Although other times there were so many steps it was just watch where your feet go and keep stepping.

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