One of the requirements for me to return to Haiti long term is that I have my own vehicle. Currently I walk to and from the guest house and school when I don’t have a ride. Since the school is only 2 miles from my apartment and the guest house is between them, it’s really not a bad walk. In fact I enjoy the exercise. However, if I need to go somewhere else I have to bum rides off of other people. There are several benefits to me having my own car in Haiti.
- More time for ministry. First and foremost if I had my own vehicle, I would be able to spend more time on ministry and less on traveling. Because I don’t have my own vehicle I depend on primarily Beth to take me anywhere else I need to go. I love spending time with Beth, and we often have really good talks while we’re in the car. The problem is that with two boys in school and a guest house to run, she has waaaaayyyyyyy more errands to run than I do. Often on Fridays we leave the house at 10 am for the discipleship classes we teach at her boys’ school and do not return until 5pm or after. If I had my own vehicle I could be back by 1 or 1:30 and still do some work in the afternoon. I would also be able to go to Laboule Children’s Home on Saturdays (or whenever I wanted) to teach English, do craft projects, or just hangout.
- More flexibility. The second best advantage to being able to drive myself around is that I wouldn’t be tied to someone else’s schedule. I would be able to go to the grocery store or Laboule Children’s Home when I needed to go instead of waiting until someone else was headed that way. I would also be able to commit to other activities—like a Bible study—because I would know I could get myself there.
- Aid Team Travel. Also having another vehicle and driver would help when we have teams here. Often the teams take a tour of Port au Prince, go to Lookout Point, or head up to the Baptist Mission café/museum. Another vehicle would help transport people during those trips. Just last week some people had to stay skip the tour of Port au Prince because there weren’t enough vehicles for everyone.
- Makes life easier. Public transportation is overcrowded, unreliable, and unsafe (due to the overcrowding and crazy driving). It’s an option, but not a very good one. Beth has allowed me to bum rides off of her this year, but she needs her own flexibility back. Having a vehicle of my own would make both our lives a little easier.
If you want to donate a vehicle to MTM (totally tax deductible!) that can be shipped to Haiti or would like to donate money towards the purchase of a vehicle (still tax deductible), please e-mail me at britneyLsmith (at) gmail (dot) com.