Saturday, January 15, 2011
Jeep La LA! : Our Big Pink Baby Came Out!
Well, midwife-Dr. Cara Osborne midwifed the delivery of this special, big, pink, baby, but I think a cast of hundreds stood behind her...financing, designing, praying, asking and granting favors, translating Kreyol/English, running and emailing documents around Haiti. It was a long,hard, labor... but tonight, the baby came out at last.
We waited all day, for word from the group navigating the final negotiations at St Marc where "Jeep La" (the Jeep) has been on the customs dock since November 19. First, the elections and riots afterward slowed it down...then cholera epidemic hit. We've got over that, then were lost in the Land of Red Tape. Then Nadene and Cara and Ronel -- the driver who has been waiting for YEARS to drive this baby....made a major trip to the paperwork Wizards in St Marc, Thursday, and pleaded our case. In the end, they were told, well, it might come out tomorrow. Cara and Ronel stayed overnight in St Marc, hoping and praying it that customs gate would lift on Friday.
All this afternoon, we were watching for it, like kids listening for reindeer on Christmas Eve. Then, finally....In the midst of a heavy tropical downpour, the iron gates of Lakay Nou rumbled open, and folks started hollering "Jeep La La"!!! Jeep La means the Jeep...the extra "La" adds the concept of "here"... so tonight, we are drinking champagne and "Jeep La La"..."the Jeep is HERE!" It parked in the carport...people jubilantly unloaded....whooping in Kreyol and English, hands slapped, and exhausted people came across the threshold like the end of a marathon....Happy,but too tired to show it.
There is rain falling and loads of boxes being unloaded...a microscope, a colposcope, and mundane things like sheets, towels and printers. Many items that will help women and move this mission forward. But the Jeep itself is the star of the show. Haitians all aonlg the road cheered and waved at the bright magenta colored vehicle drove north to us. It's going to be popular.
This big , custom-made pink vehicle doesn't only have air-conditioning and plug-in elertricity, it also has a special elevated exhaust pipe that can't flood...it can ford the many shallow rivers that have no bridge, we can ride over the rough, dusty roads of Haiti,stocked and equipped to care for the many pregnant women on the back roads of the Central Plateau. We have such great Haitian staff that do such good work; it is a relief to give them great equipment to support their to work.
Everybody's happy tonight. The baby is here... and the women of Haiti will be better off, for this. I promise. Thanks, Friends. Jeep La LA!