Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Drive Through Haiti

I held my camera out the window and snapped pictures as we drove through Haiti.

Here I'll share some of my initial thoughts during the six-hour bus ride from Port-au-Prince airport to northwest Haiti, as I recorded them in my journal in 2008.

We're at the mission compound, tired, grimy, and achy. We had a six-hour bus ride through the countryside. I think we saw most of Haiti. We went through dusty deserts with cactus, tropical areas with mangoes and coconuts, and small brush fields of sugar cane. We went up mountains and drove through streams. We saw many towns and experienced Haiti.

At first, the drive was nerve-wracking. Apparently, whoever blows his horn has the right-of-way IF he has the bigger automobile. There were lots of buses and trucks crammed with people. Our driver went as fast as he could over potholed, rocky roads. We bounced so much we're bruised. He squeezed our bus between vehicles and people, running both off the road. It was harrowing going through the crowded towns where the driver still didn't slow down despite the pedestrians milling next to the road. There were a few times we had to maneuver around or stop for cattle, donkey and horses. There were also a lot of goats, but we didn't stop for goats. Are they Haiti's equivalent of squirrels?

Along the way I saw:
  • Huge pigs eating piles of garbage
  • New Orleans style cemeteries
  • Huge piles of rock in the road
  • Broken-glass topped cement walls to keep out trespassers
  • Turquoise blue Caribbean water
  • Women carrying everything on their heads
  • Watermelon markets
  • 4 people on a motorcycle
  • a canvas wall with cellphones attached for sale
What I didn't see: McDonald's, Walmart, Subway, or Starbucks. Thank God!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I'm looking forward to reading more about this. How cool.