Monday is the traditional travel day for our HealingHaiti.org mission trips.
Most of the team is Minneapolis based so they leave from that airport. I wasn't able to make that connection from Madison so I flew to Miami on Father's Day and met up with the team at 11:30 a.m. at the Miami Airport.
My first impression was the group was HUGE! We all wear a white Healing Haiti t-shirt on travel day. This serves 2 purposes-one, it's easy to identify and make sure all of our team members are present and accounted for, and two, there's always great conversations with other who are curious about us and our mission work.
This trip consists of 2 teams of 14 people each. I was asked to co-lead because the groups have gotten so big.
So imagine arriving in an airport, as we did into Port au Prince, with 28 people who each had 3 suitcases each (2 checked bags and 1 carry on) . Then imagine not only baggage claim and it's chaos, imagine the train of suitcases and 28 people moving toward our transportation, which in Haiti is a covered pickup truck called a Tap Tap.
Our great Healing Haiti staff met us outside the airport, we loaded up 2 tap taps and we headed to the mission house.
On the ride to the house I started to get a sense of who was our "newbies" to Haiti and here were our veterans. It seems as if 50% of the group is experiences this wonderful country for the first time and the other half have made at least 1 or more mission trips here.