May 8 - Jordan Dykstra blog
Bonswa (Good Evening) from Haiti,
Well, this morning started out quite early, 3:15 a.m. to be exact. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, most of us met at Frost Arena and began our journey at 4:15 a.m. We arrived at the airport with the usual stares from bystanders wondering who all of the "tall drinks of water" were. This trip was going to be quite a bit different than most that we had embarked on during the previous season. I knew that, having been to Haiti before, but some of the guys were in for a rude awakening. We made it through security fine, and we proceeded to board the plane without any hiccups.
We landed in Chicago approximately an hour and a half later and met up with Joshua White who was looking quite dapper. He proceeded to plead with us that it was proper airport etiquette to dress up (what for, nobody knows). Needless to say, Josh was jived for a while about his black polo, dress shoes and khakis, while the rest of us were lounging in our Under Armour Jacks apparel (not an intentional marketing ploy). Back to the trip.
The next leg of our journey led us to Miami, where we learned that Matt Donlan had a maintenance issue with his plane from California to Miami and he will not be able to make it to Haiti until tomorrow. Other events that took place in Miami were coach Brian Cooley's favorite game of argue ball, napping and instructions for our entrance into the country of Haiti. The description of how Haitians force themselves upon you to carry your baggage made some sleepy eyes widen.
After a meal at the airport and a three-hour delay, we were on our way to our final destination of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. During the descent we got to see the landscape of Haiti, and it truly is a beautiful country; that is until you get a little lower in elevation. The rubble from a massive earthquake is still evident, the amount of trash along the coasts is unreal and the lack of clothing on the people is disheartening. For the second time in less than four years all that I could think is, "What am I doing here?" And I know I was not the only one.
Once the initial shock of how different life in Haiti is than the U.S. had passed, I reminded myself that we were here to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. It is not just giving of our resources that we are here to do, we are here to give of our hearts and open up to the Haitians in order for them to see the Good Samaritan in us all. The giving of ourselves rather than of the materials will leave a true, lasting imprint on their lives and ours.
Once we got through Customs, the horror stories told to us in Miami did not take place. This was probably mostly due to the heavy rainstorm that was upon us. We loaded the shoes we brought along and our luggage into four different trucks or vans. Some were lucky enough to get a shelter from the rain in their vehicles, four of us were not. It was a fun and bumpy ride to our hotel that was no more than 10 minutes from the airport.
We arrived soaking wet and tired, but we did make it safely. We unloaded our luggage and did a bit of decompressing. We’re sitting at dinner right now and we have gotten instructions for tomorrow. We’ll be delivering food to various places in the city. I’m excited to see the growth in our team this week, not only as a team but also as individuals.
We thank you for all of your prayers and support and we’ll continue to make Brookings and all of our fans proud by being the best servants of Christ that we can be.