Blog post written by Dorene Palermo.

It’s 4:15 am and twelve hearty team members began to assemble at American Airlines next to the suitcase scale. Amazingly almost all the bags came in right at 49 pounds! We only had to juggle two or three pounds to get everything in the 3-4 extra checked bags.

220 pounds of children’s clothes and shoes and even more pounds of medicines and supplies all arrived safely in Port au Prince right on time. The team, posing as separate small groups of tourists, had no problems at all with customs and immigration. Kay Wellemeyer successfully navigated the yards of young men trying to “help” us with our luggage and found Arnold Dorleans, our host and source of all knowledge for Haiti Outreach Ministries.

Awaiting us in the parking lot were three “Tap Taps”. All our luggage went into one and it headed directly to our hotel. The team split up, half in each tap tap, and we headed to the supermarket to buy lunch materials for the upcoming week.

The “tap tap” experience together with the rough road surfaces was a good way to be introduced to Haiti. Where we traveled today Port au Prince looked the same as last year except some of the street trash must have floated away in the rain, and the goats on the side of the road seem a little fatter. We surmised they are eating better because the grass and bushes are greener —maybe from the rain.

Arnold awaited us at the hotel and ensured we were all settled. As we chatted over a cold beverage, Arnold discovered what Helen Tharrington does for a living and his face lit up with a grin. We could maybe come down some time and work with the school children??? We will have to think about that!

Dinner was a good buffet. We ate quickly and moved on to devotions. Most of us were too tired to think much, so we shared our hopes and curiosities for the upcoming week, and headed off to bed.

A very good first day, and a long one.  Up tomorrow for breakfast at 6am and the adventure will begin!