Our plan for Wednesday night in Haiti was to take our teachers, interpreters, and Pastor Jacques and his wife Marie out to a nice restaurant to thank them for their hard work and also to have the opportunity to speak to them away from the mayhem about plans for the school.
We arranged for transportation for us and our guests and planned to meet them at the restaurant. Just as we left the guest house the sky opened up with a torrential downpour. We arrived at the restaurant and had to wait for forty-five minutes for our guests to arrive. The translators and Nahomie, our Bible teacher, told us that Jacques and Marie and the other teachers were right behind them, but they never arrived. The roads became impassable and they had to turn around.
We had a lovely meal with our translators and I had a very helpful conversation with Junior about how the school is going, but I was sorry to not get a chance to talk with Jacques and Marie Lourdes as well.
By the time our food arrived it was already past the time that we had arranged for our ride to pick us up. I tried to call our driver but couldn’t reach her. We finished our dinner and our ride still hadn’t come. We learned that when it rains in Haiti, the roads become so flooded that many cars cannot pass, so traffic becomes a gridlock. An our after the appointed time our driver arrived.
The driver for our translators simply could not bring them home. It took us half an hour to go the half mile to the guest house, and the translators live further away in different parts of the city. I offered to put Nahomie up in the guest house with us but she refused. Our driver finally agreed to drive the translators back to the orphanage, where Alex and Ronald had a motorcycle that they could use to bring Nahomie home, since a motorcycle could move through the gridlock.
We felt terrible that Jacques, Marie, Marie Lourdes, and Carline missed dinner an even worse that our translators were walking or riding a motorcycle home in the rain.
Life is so unpredictable here. A rainstorm in the US is usually a minor inconvenience but some people become upset or change their plans for a shower. Here a deluge causes a traffic disaster, but people simply walk in the rain if they can’t drive. Our attempt to be nice ended in a major inconvenience to everyone, but they all were very gracious about it. But I’m not sure we should try going out to eat next time.