Monday I checked in at Lifewater to see how things were going and without any major break downs I took a road trip on my motorcycle over the mountain to Limb`e to help a friend try to trouble shoot a troubled generator. We didn’t have much success as it is controlled by a micro- processor and believe that it may have gone bad, now I am trying to look for diagnostic information on the Internet through our slow connection.
Yesterday it was MFI [Missionary Flights International] typically their day begins in Ft. Pierce, FL with all of the passengers meeting at the hanger at 6:00am for last minute luggage and check-in. They typically take off at 7:00 and after a fuel stop in Exuma, Bahamas they arrive here in Cap-Haitian at 11:15 if we are their first destination. On this end we typically head for the airport at 10:00, go through security screening and start checking- in departing passengers. All passports have to be reviewed and making notes of vehicles that need to be readied back in Ft. Pierce for their arrival. Yesterday with 18 passengers returning we had to weigh all luggage, carry-ons and passengers. When the plane lands, the incoming passengers disembark and we go to work unloading typically around 2000+ lbs of freight and passengers’ luggage. We form human chains handing many boxes from the size of your hand to huge crates containing diesel generators, construction and medical equipment. Once the plane is unloaded we reload the departing luggage and packages, ready the seats all while the pilot is filing his flight plan, the co-pilot is overseeing refueling and readies the plane for departing passengers. When everything is complete we head over to sort the arriving freight by mission while Don Davis hands out the mail and manifests to each mission`s representative. One by one they enter the arrivals area with manifests to receive their manifested freight. Once received they proceed to the Duane`s [tax collector] area for inspection of items received and accessed taxes on the determined values. It is not a perfect system by far but I believe that over time seems to average out to be fair. Some days you pay heavily then others very little if at all.
The departing passengers often arrive in Ft. Pierce in late afternoon to clear customs and pick-up their stored cars or prearranged rental vehicles. Meanwhile back in Cap-Haitian, we finish with freight and mail distribution and finally make it home somewhere between 1:30 and 4:00pm depending on flight schedules and amount of freight received.
Often we have two planes with one returning teams from a remote mission which has to re-land in Cap-Haitian to clear security and customs prior to returning to Florida.
All in all plane days are a busy time but it is great to be part of a team that I admire so much and to be part of a network transporting missionaries, teams, materials, and supporting hundreds of ministries here in Haiti being God’s hands & feet.
It has just started to rain, not something that has been normal during the day. We are entering the rainy time of the year; it brings a relief in the normally sweltering heat and more comfortable sleeping but also new hatches of dormant mosquitoes and a rise in related disease.
Please pray for this next week as a good friend of ours is leaving for Port–au-Prince to present Sammy’s adoption case to those in authorities.