Monday, January 2, 2012

Camp Jake here we come

It's been a long and tiring day, but we made it to Haiti. Counselors came from Virginia, Ohio, Oklahoma and Louisiana. We converged in the Miami Dade Airport and were easily recognizable by our bright purple Camp Jake 2012 shirts! A ridiculously long layover gave us the opportunity to get to know each other a bit before hitting the sky for the final leg of our journey. (Author's note: an interesting observation was the size of the plane going in to Haiti. It was substantially smaller than the planes we rode on throughout 2010 and 2011. Wondering if this is due to international aid pulling out? A reduction in NGOs?)

Going through the airport was smooth, surprisingly smooth—a pleasant surprise based on our experience on previous trips. Even traffic was light leaving the airport and heading to the hotel. (Another observation as we drove was the nearly empty tent cities. Areas that had boasted thousands upon thousands of tents some months before were nearly cleared out.) Few people were selling their wares and even fewer walking.

After check in and dinner, we met in one of the rooms to organize the supplies. We were bursting at the seams with suitcases packed with everything you can think of: t-shirts, bathing suits, sneakers, water shoes, goggles, personal hygiene products, balls of every size, shape and color, games, jump ropes, candy (yes, toothbrushes and toothpastes too!), manicure items, art supplies and so on.

Tennis shoes of every size and color lined the walls.

Everything was separated by category (i.e. sports, games, water activities) and large care packages were created for each child. All of this made for poor photo opps but we think you'll get the idea!

Various board games filled several bags.

Boxes of clothing were spread out on both beds from end to end.

Finally, we discussed the next day's schedule and then headed to our rooms to catch some sleep. We had all been up since anywhere between 3am - 4am and we wanted to get a good night's sleep before heading to the camp site tomorrow.

So we wish you reve dous (sweet dreams) for tonight.

The hotel was still decorated for Christmas as well as
Haitian independence day which is celebrated on January 1st
of every year. It was quite lovely.

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