Thursday, September 2, 2010

Haiti Day One: Port au Prince

We spent Thursday traveling and arrived in Port au Prince around 3:10 p.m. I felt so excited to finally be there and ready for anything. The airport was busy and chaotic, full of activity and color. We were met by a small band playing some lively music. My heart was happy. We boarded our bus to take a quick tour of the city and suddenly the realization of what life was really like for the people there hit me hard.

There were tent cities everywhere.

And the devastation of the earthquake with collapsing buildings and piles of rubble. Notice the pigs scavaging for food.

Trash and garbage filled the streets because there is no means and no place to dispose of it.

But there was also color and the activities of the people all around us.

Tap-taps are the primary means of transportation for the Haitian people. Look between the rales and you will see that this tap-tap was packed. Often you would see people spilling over and hanging onto the sides of the truck or even sitting on top.

And there were makeshift markets set up along all the sidewalks with things people would find and gather to sell so they could provide for themselves and their families.

Once in a while we would see colorful murals on the buildings. Women and men carrying bags of things on their heads.

I can tell you stories and show you photos but the reality of it doesn't really hit until you see it in person. All of these photos were taken from inside a very comfortable air-conditioned bus. I could feel my heart breaking over the hopelessness of the people I saw. I couldn't speak, but only take in what I saw and let the tears fall.

More about our evening in Port au Prince to come...

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