After a little bit of a sleep in, a great workout and some breakfast, it was a little bit of a scramble to get our personal gear organised to leave PaP. Luckily all of the medical supplies had been packed yesterday, since we kind of lost track of time. Of course the biggest incentive to leaving was the news that there had been some uprisings that needed to be squashed.
Trying to get all of the gear for 6 people plus meds for 3 clinics into the Land Rover was a bit of a challenge even with strapping packs onto the roof. Trying to fit all of us into the vehicle was also interesting… everyone now feels a little bit closer to at least one member of the group.
Stretching our legs
The first leg of the trip was not too bad, with beautiful scenery and interesting conversation. We stopped in Jacmel to pick up a huge ice block for keeping anthrax vaccinations cold (which the guy loading it on to the roof of the car simply carried on his head and then did a shoulder press/plyometric leap to place it in position… it was amazing), and then along the beach for lunch.
Lunch on the beach
The beach was beautiful, the waves were inviting, and the weather was perfect… which meant it was difficult to get back into the cramped car. If we had realised how bad the roads would be for the next 5 hours we may not have! Think the surface of the moon… after a particularly awful landslide… on a road created by individuals capable of walking up a 90 degree incline. Needless to say we were relieved to arrive, grateful to be in one piece, and astounded at the driver.
The fog was crazy
Once at the Helvetas project headquarters we were given about half an hour to settle into the amazing dorm rooms before heading over for a debriefing with the government vet and the Helvetas project coordinator. There is some very interesting work being done… but we’re unsure how they need to use us. It wound up being a very looooong meeting, and so dinner was a quick bowl of soup before heading over to have a hot (YAY!) shower before bed.
Lots of love…