Everyone was shocked; I hadn’t even once considered that the epicenter could be Port-au-Prince.
My first reaction was untempered, “Let’s go! People need our help!” However, Bruce kindly and patiently explained our position: a group of white people, with no experience in disaster recovery, who can’t speak French or Creole, and don’t have place to stay, food to eat, or water to drink. Of course, Bruce was right; we would have been more of burden than anything. I guess that’s the kind of insight one gets after working in Haiti for twenty-five years.
Life continued, more or less, as normal. Bruce was working overtime trying to coordinate relief efforts with his organization, CrossWorld, and we did what we could for the people of Port-au-Prince from where we were by praying. The only real impact to us was that our days were a bit shorter since Bruce had so much going on.
18.0 mm || 1/250 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70 , Nord-Ouest Department, Haiti
70.0 mm || 1/320 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70 , Nord-Ouest Department, Haiti
38.0 mm || 1/400 || f/4.2 || ISO200 || NIKON D70 , Nord-Ouest Department, Haiti
We (Charlie and I) bid our farewells to Finn and Cecilie and then made our way down to the ferry terminal. The ferry boats they use to island hop are something else and not anything like the ones we use in Washington. They are specially designed and highly manuverable cruise ships with space for vehicles inside. To dock, the ferry will head straight for the dock, and then, only minutes before docking, will execute a 180 degree turn and back in. It’s pretty insane. Several ramps on the back of the boat unseal and lower for passengers and vehicles alike to disembark. Within 30 minutes, an entire boat can be unloaded, loaded, and on its way again. Perhaps the only thing more impressive than the Greek ferry system is the Russian train system.
When we got in to Paros, we were inundated with people at the dock with signs for hostels, hotels, and camping sites. We had done our research and knew the price range for most hostels this time of year, about €20, give or take 5. Unfortunately, most of the hostels were full up, so we went with Hotel Francisco, at a ghastly €25/person/night (so far the highest we’ve paid for a room).
After settling in, we headed back into town to try and rent a scooter. We were able to rent a 50cc scooter with my Washington State Drivers License, and so off we went to explore Paros!
We made it to the back side of the island to one of the beaches, Charlie went for a dip in the Aegean Sea while I relaxed on my beach chair and edited photos. It was actually pretty awesome. Also, please take note of my amazing farmers tan.
Sometimes, I feel as though my life is like a beach ball. I’m walking along the beach, between the crashing waves and the rocks, carrying my beach ball. Most of the time, I hold on the beach ball because I’m afraid of loosing it in the water.
Every once in a while, though, I’ll toss up my beach ball. The reasons vary. Sometimes out of frustration, sometimes to see what happens, sometimes because I want to. Whatever the reason, I really think I need to let go of my beach ball more often and trust that God (the prevailing Wind) keeps it out of the water. For the times that I do trust God, I’m usually pleasantly surprised at the outcome.