Feb. 23 (part 1) – Travel to Hinche

We were up early again, to catch our ride to the airport. Traffic is crazy through the winding streets. We see all the children walking to school in their uniforms. I am impressed by how new and clean they look.

I am struck by the contrasts as we drive. Some buildings are in excellent shape. Some have been damaged and tarps used to provide shelter.Some areas are very clean. In another area pigs, goats and chickens search through garbage deposited on a street corner.

We pass by the tent city again on the way to the airport. This time I take a quick picture, one that fails completely to capture the size and scope of the tent village.

We arrive at the airport. We are to take a small charter plane through MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship of Canada). We had been warned the night before that there may be a limitation with respect to storage space, so we dropped off five suitcases of gifts for the Cobocol ADP at the World Vision National Office, and only brought our own suitcases to the airport. Once there we were each weighed along with our key carry-on items (laptops and cameras). We are then told, we can only take another 100 pounds! We scrambled to pull just enough from our suitcases to get us through a couple of days. Everything was weighed again. Then, the best line of the day: the person checking our bags joked with us and told us we were still five pounds over, perhaps we should go to the washroom!

The flight was great. We flew low over the landscape and had a great view. The pilot was a Canadian from Chilliwack BC, a town I lived in for several years. It is interesting who one meets when they travel. However, the landscape looked so unforgiving. There were very few trees, much of the landscape seemed to have limited vegetation, and large patches of land seemed to exposed rocks or gravel. We touched down at the “airport” in Hinche, which consisted  of a gravel strip in an open area in the middle of town (see below).

We then traveled through town on rough gravel roads, and checked into our hotel, which was really very nice.

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