They’re smiling so nicely for their picture. But Josiane and her crew have just spent a long day traveling to Gonaïves for supplies, only to meet with rioting and flying rocks. They hid out in a side street for a few hours before heading back to the Plateau.
Two to three hours one way. Roads to break and bruise your car and your body. Precious gas used. And no supplies, except for propane.
In Haiti, you live on constantly shifting sands.
Over the past many months, increasing political instability and one crisis after another have made it even more impossible to plan anything.
Frankly, it can be stressful and frustrating and discouraging. It keeps you on constant adrenaline, mulling over decisions and Plan B’s (or C or D or E or F…) that may have serious ramifications. Projects break down. Things you hoped to get done get canceled or delayed. You are working hard for a better future for your community, but basic security and infrastructure is crumbling around you.
Here’s a glimpse of some of today’s mental processes and discussions:
We hear there was trouble in Gonaïves yesterday. Should Josiane and company still go to Gonaïves? Or not? Okay, call from contact says its a go. Oh wait! Contact called again when they had almost arrived to say, “Don’t go!” Well, they’re already there, so their going to check it out…Rocks flying, people running the other direction. Time to turn around.
How are we going to get our visiting family and their luggage back to Port-au-Prince for their flight home?
What about the visitors who are supposed to arrive on Monday? Do we make the call now to cancel their trip? (The trip to Gonaïves, by the way, was to prepare for their visit.)
Can we send a vehicle? They can’t even get through Gonaïves, much less to Port-au-Prince.
Is this going to continue over the weekend? Will it be calming down by Monday? Or worse?
Even if we can schedule flights from the international airport to the Plateau airstrip, will the pilots be able to get from their homes to the airport to fly the planes on Monday?
And so it goes.
And so we pray. And so we trust. And so we keep going.