Friday morning we woke up, prayed for the long day ahead of us, and set out to complete our last day of working with the six businesses. This morning was exciting and a little sad. Seeing the businesses begin to take their places in Port De Paix’s market while having to say goodbye to our entrepreneurs was bittersweet. Two highlights of mine were asking Sulfise, the entrepreneur Julia and I worked with to tell a joke again (We were not sure if we missed something the first time she told it), and seeing her sell someone milk as we walked away from her stand. Getting to see the other businesses flourish was an amazing experience as well. Being with Sulfise the whole week and knowing the effort she put in to getting her shop set up made watching the other entrepreneurs thrive all the more meaningful. Celavy’s charging station was incredibly organized and was a hub for countless children to come play with us before it started to rain. We hiked up the hill back to the church soaked and with what seemed like an army of kids and their smiling faces. The last thing we did before leaving the downtown area was eat plantains from Lucenia’s fried food stand: arguably the tastiest thing I ate all week.
Once we packed our suitcases and got everything out of our rooms, we passed the time on our last rainy afternoon in Haiti under a tin roof playing cards. If anyone tells you that Emily and I did not win, don’t believe them.
We hopped on mopeds to head to Larry and Diana’s home for dinner, ate an excellent stew, and got to pray over them. I have never been more inspired by two people. Larry and Diana are powerful servants of God and have been able to accomplish an incredible amount for Haiti. God certainly has His hand on their work.
Leaving Larry and Diana’s place began one of the craziest travel experiences I have ever been a part of. Cody and I took a moped taxi back to the hotel and had our moped break down. We stood in the pouring rain waiting for another taxi to come by. We eventually made our way back to the hotel and joined everyone in our long wait for the bus taking us back to Port Au Prince.
Once the bus arrived, we began a journey I will not soon forget. After navigating jungle and rocky paths in a bus appropriately titled “Patrick” (think March 17th), our group made it through the 8 hour bus ride that makes the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland look like a walk in the park. Dodging traffic and honking at all other vehicles seemed to be a theme as made our way across Haiti overnight. We arrived at the airport just in time on Saturday morning to make our flight to Miami. Our challenges did not stop once we arrived in the states. Our flight to LAX changed gates and was then delayed. We finally made it back to California and celebrated our week the only way us Californians know how: In N Out. It was a long two days but they have followed some of the most memorable and influential days of my life.
This program is changing the lives of Haitians every year and that is something we can give praise to God for. It has been an honor and a privilege for all of us to be His agents in Haiti and I am excited to hear how the businesses will grow in the future.