Hurry Up & Wait - AMERICA! 4-10-24

Sherri Dishion

They spent the night last night in Cap Haitien and headed to the airport by 9 am for the 2:30 pm flight. (I have attached a bad video, but it will give you an idea of what the "international" airport is like in a major city in Haiti.) The first thing as their documents were checked was that the attendant told them they MUST translate birth certificates into English and they had to pay $120 American dollars!! This is NOT true and it was clear extortion. They panicked. There is nowhere to get American dollars and they had 3 hours before they were required to be checked in for their flight. I tried Western Union, but they would not send money in anything but Haitien gourds. They called the orphanage director (Dr. Bernard) and I don't know what they did, but 2 1/2 hours later they came up with $120 American dollars, paid their extortionist, and began the wait for their flight. 2:30 came and went. Then 3:30, appeared the writing was on the wall. 

Haiti is not like here. If a flight doesn't happen in America, they have to get you on the next available flight, or try other airlines, whatever it takes to get you where you were going. In Haiti, IF they even decide to honor the ticket, it could be a month before they have another open flight to get you on. 

So they waited. 5:30, 6:30, finally at 6:45 pm they were told there was a plane. Unbelievably, at 8:15 pm today they landed in Miami! As of 11:30 pm Eastern, they are still going through customs and then complete vetting again through Customs & Border Patrol to make sure they are acceptable candidates to enter the country.

It is possible that could take several more hours. They will then try and find the gate for their flight on United to Denver at 7:45 tomorrow morning. I can't imagine how excited and exhausted they are all at the same time!