Today is August 11th. It’s officially been 2 months since Kelsey and I boarded our two-hour flight to Haiti.
I arrived first, June 11th, and made myself a little spot to sit on the carpeted floor by our gate. All the other seats were filled: occupied by Haitians returning from business, families traveling home from a visit to the states, and a few solitary, anxious, 20-somethings from the US. Crossing my legs, I hugged my backpack to my chest and searched among the 20-somethings for Kelsey. She hadn’t yet arrived so I resigned myself to study the families around me as they spoke in hurried kreyol to their telephones, shoved last minute snacks into carry-on bags, and sent out final messages on iPhones.
I texted my own mother that I’d made it to the gate and slipped my phone back into my pocket. I felt a little calmer than I had the night before. Thinking about the flight the next morning, I hadn’t been able to sleep more than an hour or so. Even then I was only resting my eyes for a few moments at a time. It’s always that way before I travel. I find myself questioning myself the whole night. What were you thinking when you signed up for this? I can think of 50 things easier than what you’ve decided to do. It’s not too late to back out now. It’s entirely too late to back out. Now it was happening, I was only a two-hour flight from my new home and it was starting to feel okay.
From the corner of my eye I saw Kelsey, backpack in hand, white poster tube poking out the side. She found her spot on the carpet beside me. That’s when it sunk in for both of us, I think: when the flighty and anxious feelings became pure excitement. It has been exactly 2 months since that day in the Miami airport, the summer has come and gone, and I feel like we’re standing on much more solid ground. These are some highlights from the last two months.
But it’s only been 2 months, who knows what the next 10 have in store. For all I know there are even more ingredients to add to the scalloped potatoes…