Some of this information is going to be repeated becuase I had about all of four minutes last time I was online. Once you get to the second paragraph, it should be mostly new stuff:
As you probably know by now, there was a severe earthquake (and several dozen aftershocks) just south of Port-au-Prince Haiti on Tuesday. I am staying about 125 miles north near a town called Port-de-Paix. We felt the earthquake (best guess is around a 3.0 or so, perhaps less), however I and the rest of my team is safe. The missionaries we are staying with have enough food, water, gas, and other essentials to last for a very long time (easily several months).
Unfortunately, getting out of the country has proven to be a bit difficult. Port-au-Prince (which is where we flew into and are supposed to fly out of) is in ruins, although the airport is reasonably intact (or so I’ve heard). We were scheduled to fly back on Monday, 18 January. However, American Airlines has cancelled all flights for the time being and has rescheduled us for Saturday, 23 January. Additionally, we have to take a short “commuter” flight (from Port-de-Paix to Port-au-Prince) on a local airline that has also stopped operating and has stated that they will not resume operations until American Airlines starts flying (which should be Tuesday, 19 January).
Several aid ships for several nations are here or enroute. The United States Military has or very shortly will take over control off the airport and hopefully things will get going again. It’s rumored (although I can’t substantiate this) that Monday is the day they are airlifting a bunch of stuff in, which is why we can’t fly out.
We’re past plans B, C, and D and are on to about Plan E now. We are monitoring the situation and still attempting to get out on Monday (although we don’t really think that will happen). One possibility might be to get a flight out on an missionary flight operated by Missionary Flights International. However, we won’t be moving until it’s a “slam dunk” to get back to Miami (or somewhere else in the US).
Contact with the outside world as also been at a minimum. So far, I’ve only been able to get Internet access for about 10 minutes in the last 10 days. I haven’t read any news reports or seen any photos from Port-au-Prince, thus all I know is what Bruce (one of the missionaries) has relayed to us (to his credit, he has been doing a great job of keeping us apprised of what’s going on).
We’ve continued on with our original plans as best we can and have generally been in good spirits; however, yesterday was a bit tough as final word came down that American Airlines was not flying on Monday and our flight have been pushed back almost an entire week. I think everyone has taken the news rather well and has shifted gears to figure out how to make the best of the situation we are in. Most of us have jobs and took a large chunk of vacation time to come down to Haiti and now we have to dig into that bank even more, which hurts a bit (at least for me).
I’m also tired of eating oatmeal and tuna fish sandwiches for breakfast and lunch, respectively, everyday; however, Deb (Bruce’s wife) has cooked amazing dinners for us every night and I’ve been eating better down here than I have at home most nights.
We’ll continue to keep on keeping on down here. I’d ask that you pray for safe (and soon) travel back to Seattle and peace of heart and mind while we are down here.
Know that we are safe and will get back to Seattle as soon as safely possible. Feel free to post comments below. Updates will be provided when I get more Internet access. You can also stay up-to-date at http://www.upc.org.