Ft McKay First Nations Starts Their Hero Holiday in Haiti!
It’s been easy to forget the long hours of travel as we sit here (Cap Haitien, Haiti) is sipping strong coffee and discussing our roommates silly sleeping habits… before these moments of relaxation it looked something like this:Monday 7am – Fort McMurray Airport. Our group of strangers getting updates about how far away Chief Boucher is from the airport…why? One of our fellow travelers (who will remain unmentioned, but rhymes with Sandy…lol) forgot her passport in Fort McKay.8:25am – On board our Westjet flight to Toronto…also the same time Chief arrived with Sandy’s passport…whew! We’re on our way!Late afternoon – Arrived in the T-dot..already tired, hungry and feeling like it’s been a long day. Here we meet up with friends from parts of Ontario, and our old friend Brett, who we participated in a Hero Holiday trip with last September in Mexico. Great to meet everyone, great to have a hotel room, eat some yummy Boston Pizza, complete our orientation, we head to bed…for 3 hours2am – Barely showing signs of life, we’re all awake and in our vehicles to head across the Canada/US border for Buffalo.Tuesday 4am – The boarder crossing was painless. The guards were fun, discussing how much they love Canada…kidding, but I was hoping 😉 They were really nice though. A few minutes later we’re at the Buffalo airport. It was busy at this hour, we struggled getting everyone accounted for and on the plane in time. Luckily, the travel gods were on our side and we all made it. Hungry, tired, still feeling like it’s been a long day (now a long 24 hours). We’re off to NEW YORK!Mid-morning: Arrive to New York. Continuing the theme of non-stop travel we rush to the other side of the airport to our gate. Did I mention we’re in NEW YORK! Many people were excited, although we didn’t get to see the city it was fun to have a brief moment there. When we arrive at our gate, our plane is boarding for Delta flight 699 to Port au Prince.During the next 3.5 hours we all had a chance to relax… Caught a few moments of needed rest and mingled with some locals.That afternoon: Arrive in Port au Prince. First impression: organized chaos! People from various flights trying to get their luggage off of one of two baggage carriers…it took some teamwork to get all of our bags, but the leaders stepped up and got us through safe, bags in tow and ready to head through a few more moments of rush before heading onto a bus and onto…yes, another flight!We arrive at the domestic airport in Port au Prince hungry, tired and ready for some real rest. Impatience is setting in for some…impressive considering it’s been a good 36 hours so far!2 small domestic planes await our arrival. One takes off with ease. Arriving in the lovely Cap Haitien without a problem and heads to our current place of luxury. We eat, rest, enjoy the air conditioning and fresh water. The other group…..ummmmm….they arrive an hour or so later after being stuck in Port au Prince with plane problems. They eventually arrive with sandwiches, water and their rooms waiting for them….They rested. We all ate delicious dinner…discovering that the Haitian version of moose meat is goat! We loved it! With our bellies full we celebrated our arrival and Bubbinz’s birthday! Lucky girl is 22 years old and spending it in this foreign country. She’s happy. We eat more, drink some, and head to bed. Bed. Sigh……………….Heaven, I’m sure, will continue to be this lovely Residence Royale we’re staying at. The staff are awesome, us travelers are content and we are all feeling at home.Looking forward to today, which will bring some touring around, money exchange, and of course, checking out the site where we will be building some essential infrastructure.Yay Wednesday!~ A participant in Haiti