Thursday, April 24, 2008


Doug, Amy, Rita & Sandy headed out of CV at 7:30am to get into to PAP at a decent time. Doug drove and I rode shotgun so we could get used to the city and where all the stores were located. I had a map that was pretty detailed & Sandy wanted to be sure I could navigate confidently. We arrived in the city around 9:00am and we missed most of the traffic.

Doug learned quickly what a vehicle looked like without break lights. We were about 6 inches from their bumper! He did great driving and maneuvering around huge rocks, man holes with no covers & pot holes that will swallow you, pedestrians that DON’T have the right of way, and crazy drivers with little traffic laws or speed limits. I think running on the fire department really gave him experience he needs to drive here. He knew exactly where the edge of our truck was and seemed to want to show me how close he could get before I would say “woe woe woe” or “Douglas” and then he would laugh at me. There are always close calls in Haiti, but in the city you really aren’t going fast enough to hurt anything maybe just a fender bender.

Our first stop was Mega Mart, where I will be buying bulk food for our groups before they come in. There is a nice array of American, Dominican, and other countries food. You have to really pay attention to the prices because one country isn’t consistently the cheapest. Kraft Mac & Cheese was only $.79 US so I had to pick up a few boxes of that!:) There are a lot of different items at Mega Mart. We got some plastic Rubbermaid “dressers”, hangers, canned goods, pasta, dishes, pots and pans, silverware, mop & bucket, BLEACH and cleaning supplies, & hardware supplies for the mission. Stop #2 was called One Stop. This is where we could exchange our money form US to Haitian and found some fresh apples, meat, and rat/mouse poisoning. Stop #3 was lunch time. We went to a restaurant called Epi Dor were it had hamburger combo meals that cost 99 gourde which is equivalent to $2.71 US, pizza, and ice cream. We all got a cheeseburger, coke and fries and Doug tried the bubblegum and Mom tried the dark chocolate ice cream. The hamburgers were very thin and the buns are firm and very thick…It was all very tasty, nothing to complain about. Stop#4 was right across the street at Deli Mart. It had lots of groceries, Baygon (insect killer) to spray our rooms at night, and a fresh deli. We got some salami and cheese… and I even asked for one lb. without Sandy translating for me. Stop #5 was at Casami. They sell furniture and appliances there. We found a small microwave here then priced a padded rocker and a grill. They seemed to be priced high and we decided to look at other stores. ALMOST everything that we bought all day was price double or triple what you might spend in the US. Stop #6 was at ERF, which is a hardware store down stairs and a furniture store upstairs. We thought we would just look at prices since we only had a tiny bit of space left in the truck. After looking we found a chair that looks like an office chair but it reclines a little and includes a padded ottoman and a cloth chair with a metal frame that also has a slightly padded ottoman. We decided to get just these two cheapo chairs instead of getting a lazyboy type chair or couch since it is sooo expensive to buy real furniture here. We were just happy to be able to get our feet up at the end of the day. We determined that we had just enough space in the back seat of the truck to put both boxed chairs, as long as I rode upfront between Doug and Sandy and then Mom rode in the backseat. The way home was pleasantly uneventful. We arrived right around 5:30pm just in time to put all the groceries away before a potato soup supper at 6. We were gone for about 11 hours and I enjoy shopping but my little puppies were crying. Everyday shopping in Haiti is like shopping on Black Friday, something you won’t find me doing in the states!! (Brittany, Megan & Lisa could have handled this with no problem!!) Our refrigerator still wasn’t working properly so we put all the cold items in the little chest freezer. Sandy passed Doug with flying colors for his first driving day! While we were gone all day Dad, & two strong Haitian men, Michelle & Vaddy (calls my dad “daddy”) continued to paint inside our house, then dad built a shelf in our bathroom and our bedrooms. You will see these in the pictures.

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