Monday, July 8, 2013

A Productive Haiti Day

What defines a productive day in Haiti?  

Getting at least one thing successfully checked off your to-do list.

The reasons for difficulty when you're out running errands in Haiti are many.  Super congested, crazy, and mostly unpredictable traffic tops the list.  A close second is the frequent problem of a store not carrying the item you're looking for.  The store might not have ever had it, might be out of stock, or they advertise that they carry it but in reality, don't.  Sometimes there are superfluous check-out procedures, like one line to order, a separate line to pay for your order, and then a third line to wait in to actually pick up your purchase.   

But today?  Today we were pleasantly surprised not once, not twice, but five times.  It was dreamy.

First stop was to get gas for our car.  This is usually not a problem stop... unless there is a country-wide gas shortage that happens a couple times a year, but today, pa pwoblem.

Next, a stop to change some U.S. bills to gourdes, a stop that can sometimes take a good 15-20 minutes and can often raise a little anxiety.  But today, Gary was in and out in two minutes.  When he came back to the car, I actually thought, "oh, they must be out of money and turned him away."  But no.

Third stop, a place we had never been before to buy a fuel filter for the generator.  Did you know you have to change the oil and filters on a generator just like a car?  I didn't, but now I do.  This place utilizes the three check out lines rule.  However, it seriously only took five minutes, $6.00, and then we were out the door with the part we needed.  At this point, we thought our luck had run out.  We returned to the car and said to each other, "Well, if we accomplish nothing else today, we'll consider this a success."

Onward to our fourth stop... to find an expandable funnel to change the oil on the generator.  We stopped at Eko Depot, which is a pretty fine knock-off of Home Depot, right down to the orange sign.  They were out of expandable funnels, but strangely enough had three of the expandable attachments laying hidden on a shelf.  The cashier wouldn't sell us the attachment because it wasn't meant to be sold alone and it didn't have a price tag.  Gary went to a different cashier and begged a little, and they sold it to him.  A little hiccup, but success yet again!

Our fifth and final errand was to Access Haiti to pay our internet bill.  There is no such thing to pay online for Access Haiti, so we get to go in person every month.  Sometimes available parking can be non-existent, but not today!  Again, this is usually about a 15 minute process once upstairs to the office, but today it was over in less than five minutes.  

At this point, all three Crazies began to simultaneously melt down due to "starvation".  We made it home just in time to avoid any casualties.  

This afternoon, we had some GNO kids over to play and watch Tangled.  Did you know many Pixar movies have a French language option?  But strangely enough, Ratatouille isn't one of them.  Weird.

Add in picking up five jugs of drinking water, a bit of cleaning, and homemade tortillas, and we've got one productive day indeed.

**Just as I finished typing that last sentence, Gary came back in from attempting to give the generator an oil change and turns out, they gave us the wrong part. **

Four out of five ain't too shabby.

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