What a day! We started out real early this morning, leaving our house around 2:30 a.m. and working on about 2 hours of sleep! 16 of us flew out of D.C. into Miami where we picked up another 5 people who flew in from St. Louis, Toledo, Cincinnati and Tampa. We arrived in Port- Au-Prince before noon, collected our 40+ bags and ventured into the chaotic scene of the airport, where we were greeted by our friends Johnny, Jean Claude (director) and his wife Ronice. We boarded the bus that was waiting for us and headed for the orphanage.

What you see out the window in between the airport and Eden Garden is a life far different from what most of us are accustomed to seeing. Almost exactly 2 years after the earthquake, there are still people living in tents, but not anything like what we have seen in the past. Each time we come, things seem to be getting better, with less and less tents and tent cities around. We passed through the busy markets, saw kids getting out of school, and got a taste of the "no rules on the road" style of driving in Haiti! We were spectators, catching a small glimpse into typical life for most Haitians.

About 2 hours later, we arrived at Eden Garden. Our kids were lined up waiting for us, sang us their welcome song and then "rushed the crowd", greeting their new friends with hugs and hellos. We then mingled a bit, some walked around and toured the campus, everyone with 2-3 children holding their hands or holding on to them in some way. These kids just love having visitors!

Shortly after we arrived, Charles (founder and now outreach director of Eden Garden) pulled in with a van loaded down with the contents of the school bus that we sent over. Now mind you, this bus sat in the port of Palm Beach since it was dropped off there on December 5 and it finally made it onto a cargo ship that just sailed for Haiti LAST THURSDAY, nearly a month later! We didn't know if it was going to arrive in time for our visit, and have been super stressed because on that bus were all of the trip supplies needed to operate our medical clinic and solar power project that we brought this group of 21 people over to work on! The bus arrived on Sunday, (just in the nick of time), and although the port would not release the vehicle just yet (this can take days and lots of money), they did allow us to unload the contents which was the most important thing. We would like to say thank you to all who donated loads of goods such as crib mattresses, clothing,vitamins, fans, and even the bus itself from Mr. Wade Compton of Compton Bus Service in Southern Maryland! Everything was unloaded, dispersed into various locations and we are breathing much easier tonight, knowing that we now have what we need to work with. WHEW!

Here are just a few pictures from our day today:

New friends: Mary Speicher and Erin Yoder

Welcome song from our kids

Stacey Torrens meets Mika & Sherlida

Cricilia, Woodline and Berlindea said their hellos and then got back to working on their homework!

Dave Wooster & Sean Ryan unloading the van

Kurt Kesselman (our neighbor)

Misael Henriquez unloading solar panels

Terri McGregor and Allan Rainey (from Sonlight Power Company) surveying the solar situation with Scott Kramer and Marcel Pichot