Pop goes the tire…

It finally came, the day to return home.

By 7 A.M., we were all packed and ready to head home. We started to load the bus with the luggage, then soon after stopped to have some breakfast. We said our final goodbyes to everyone in the house who made our stay in Haiti so comfortable.

Then by 7:30A.M. we were on the road to the airport.

The ride was going smoothly. People were falling asleep and others were having conversations. And then about 45 minutes into the drive, everything completely changed.

We went over a pothole and the right rear tire fell off of the bus. No, seriously!! The tire actually fell off the bus. At first, we thought it was a flat tire because of the way the bus leaned on one side. However, when we stepped off the bus to check, we saw the tire laying a few feet away from the bus. The people living in the area all came out and were looking at us with inquiring eyes.

Maxime and Wisley immediately got on their cellphones and started making calls. Who were they calling?? I’m not really sure lol

But turns out, they were setting plan B into motion. Less than 45 minutes later, two pick-up trucks arrived to our rescue.

The trucks could fit about 7 people, including the driver, inside. Butttttt there were about 20 of us. This meant that some of the team members would have to sit on the truck bed for the remainder of the trip to Cap-Haitien. With all of our luggages loaded and surgical masks on to prevent dust inhalation, we continued the journey. We arrived to Cap-Haitien by noon and stopped at a souvenir shop. Afterward, we made our way to a restaurant about 10 minutes from the airport to have one last meal together before we left Haiti.

While at the restaurant, we met a group of Pastors from Alabama who were also about to leave for the States. They invited us to join in on a prank on one of their friends, Billy. He asked us to chant his name as he made his way out of the bathroom and back to the restaurant. It was a pretty fun experience and they invited us to do it again on the plane since we were all going to be on the same flight.

By 3:30P.M. we were at the airport saying our final good-byes to the driver and the security guards, along with Maxime and Wisley. We checked in only to realize that our flight had been delayed. But they didn’t know how long it would be delayed. The flight was scheduled to leave by 5:35P.M. but due to a delay with the plane coming from Miami, we had a bit of a wait ahead of us. By this point everyone was exhausted and wanted to just make it back to their homes. We were also worried because both Dr. Wajahat and Andy had a 9:40P.M. connecting flights to Tampa we didn’t want them to miss.

The musical group at the airport once again sang for us, but this time a farewell song.

Around 6P.M., the flight from Miami arrived and by 6:30P.M. we were all boarded and preparing for take off.

Once we were all settled on the plane, we took off and less than two hours later, we touched down into Miami International Airport and made it through customs.

We were greeted at the airport by Stevenson and Sam (Dany was trying to find parking…at the wrong airport) with roses for all of the team members. Dr. Wajahat and Andy, luckily made their flight to Tampa because that too was delayed.

Everyone parted for their respective homes, most likely to get some much needed rest.

This has been one of the best and most rewarding trips that I have been on, especially for it being my first one. Despite all the bumps in the road, this is a definitely an experience that I would do all over again.

– Amanda Muana

Oikonomia Consulting