now, he and i have been to guatemala on mission trips (austin has been twice) and we had seen some true poverty there. but i don't think there was anything that was going to prepare austin for what he encountered in haiti. and that wasn't the only way that this trip was vastly different from any guatemalan mission. you see, when you are in Guatemala, there is ready access to internet and phones. when we went together, we skyped each night with our kids when austin went with some other men from our church, we called/skyped every night. and we always felt safe. and we flew out of an actual international airport.
this time? the guys drove 8 hours to fort pearce. then they boarded a tiny little crop duster (not true. but it may as well have been!) in a hangar. it was the type of plane that austin was able to "co-pilot" in the cockpit. try THAT on a boeing 747 ;) their flight was 4 hours long....with a 15 minute stint in the bahamas.
once they landed in cap Haitian, they had an hour long ride in the back of a flat bed truck to the village of milot. he said that customs going into Haiti were like nothing he'd ever seen before. basically, they had to buy their way in.
and communication?? a little sketchy for the first few days. i found out through twitter that they had landed, and then didn't know if they had arrived at the "compound" until i spoke with william's wife later that night.
once they made it home, austin was full of stories about the people they worked with, the culture that he had seen, the awesome Bible studies they participated in with local believers each morning, and a new appreciation for how truly blessed we are here in America. although i love that he has a heart for going and serving, we are so glad to have him home!