Friday, February 13, 2009
The long and Winding road
Pastor Puffpaff greeted us. For most of us this was a return visit so he new a large portion of our group. He grabbed the group leaders and a few others he was familiar with and loaded in his van. The rest of us and all the luggage loaded into a hired shuttle bus. It was crowded, but we were all excited to be a few steps closer to a place we had never been before.
I was excited but really wished I could communicate with home. As we drove though the city it became very clear how poor the country was. It was not like the vacation brochures everyone sees, at least not the sections we were going to be at. We passed buildings that looked like the were abandon and broken down. These were peoples homes and business. Bars on the windows everywhere an very few people out in the streets. The people in the streets were a little scary.
It was about 10:00pm and we were all hungry. We pulled into a gated(security) Wendy's restaurant. The first large culture shock was the menu. Prices were a little different. A #3 cheeseburger meal for 476.98. What! apparently our money was a bit different. Also they had very little paper money so all our change came in coins. so 476.98 was equal to about $4.00 our money.
The food tasted a little different. I was a little afraid of what the beef was so I ordered a baked potato and a bottled water. I started to learn about the island we were on. First, things not created on the island had to be shipped in. This was very expensive so things like soda were altered a little. So they had sodas but coke and or sprite would taste a bit different.
After we were done eating we were off again to head to the school where we were going to stay. I had been told many stories about the road up the mountain but could never have imagined. I even looked it up on u tube but it was hard to get a real feel for what it would be like.
We had already experience the driving laws of this city, or the lack of. It seemed if you were the driver of the vehicle you made the rules. Other cars, people, animals all were subject to being run over if they were in the way. Speed rules were obsolete. In fact I am not sure I ever saw a street sign that would indicate any laws.
And so the drive would begin. In the van with me was the group of young people whom had never been on this trip before as well. Now, being young people they were wide a wake after a long day of travel, excited about the upcoming week and definitely not missing anyone at home. I on the other hand were all of the above. Ahhhh and the trip begins!