About Me

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I have been an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator. Currently, I am a faculty member in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. My M.Ed. and Ph.D. had a focus on the educational and linguistic experiences of children who moved from other countries to Canada.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Roadtrip: CJs perspective on our arrival to Haiti

We landed with tired faces and sore bottoms.We had just flown from Toronto to Miami and then Miami to Port Au Prince. We came out of the plane ready for a long road trip... but not a road trip that any of us would expect it to be.

Our humongus van was waiting for us as we left the airport luggage in hand. But in the way of us and the van was a big crowd. There were many people wanting to give us rides in their own taxis but our leaders just told us to say "No merci." Once we were out of the large group of people it was time for the next step... dodging other vehicles.

It was mad chaos with all the cars trying to get through. But we weren't backing down from these bumper cars. We drove our feet into the parking lot and started heading for our van. We weren't stopping for anything. Once our van was in sight it was time for a challenge, putting the luggage on top of the van. Back in Canada this would have been a huge shock to see luggage on the top of a person's car but in Haiti people do what they want to do. With fifteen people on this trip it meant that everyone had two pieces of luggage. You do the math, that's thirty pieces of luggage that had to sit on the top of the van!

The strong men that were helping us put about eighteen our nineteen pieces of luggage on the top. But that still meant that there had to be some more luggage in the car. We somehow made it work and it was time to be on our way. Our driver climbed in and instantly started honking his horn at other drivers around him. They all stopped and waited as the massive van came out of the parking lot. Once we were on the main road I was really impacted by how many people were trying to sell items to anyone. From candy to medicine to clothes they had everything. I wanted to help everyone that I could but I knew it would just be too hard to do. 

Once we were about two hours away from our destination (Pignon) we stopped at a Hospital named Hopital Universitaire de Misrebalais. A man named Dr. Paul Farmer built this hospital a year or two ago and it's famous for Tb treatment. We went in and I was shocked at how beautiful it was in there. 

Now we are in Pignon we are staying at a camp. We are also going to have a chance to play football (soccer) with the kids that are also at the camp. I am really excited for the up coming days and hope that we have a great time in the next week.

CJ Sider, 13 yrs old

1 comment:

Sammerstein said...

That's an exciting start!