Wednesday, May 28, 2008

favorite last Haiti pics

As a last view of Haiti, here are some assorted pictures. Hope you enjoy!

THE taptap!! This is how you get around in Haiti! Plop in the back of that sweet-smelling truck and pay a fat twelve cents to get yourself across town!

Sunrise view from my balcony. In the bottom left Gustav, my neighbor/the groundskeeper, is cutting the grass with scissors. The street where I could see the running during the riots is straight ahead, beyond the white gate.

Kanaval in Port-au-Prince!! That's Creole for... Mardi Gras! This was the day after I got back from Brazil, and so got more Mardi Gras/Carnaval in one year than I had since high school!

Kanaval parades and dancing in the streets!

A rara band, in front of the Presidential Palace. This is the same palace, about a 6 minute walk from my house, that got stormed in the food riots.

Kanaval parades

This is a hole in the wall. My kind of restaurant! Good spot for beer-drinking and people watching during Kanaval.

Cape Haitian-- looks like New Orleans!! No surprise, they're both former French strongholds.

Cape Haitian, second largest city in Haiti, on the northern coast. The city was burned at least twice in their revolution for independence.

Not posed! From a hike with the Hash group. I really am looking for a trail.

My dear friend Andy, post hiking.

Here, I'm about to get "baptized" into the Hash House Harriers. It's a group that hikes/runs and then most folks drink beer. I thought it was goofy and frat-like at first; I don't even like beer! Regardless, it's an awesome way to get out, exercise, and see more of Port-au-Prince and Haiti. I made some amazing friends through this group.

This was one of my most eye-opening weekends in Haiti--the reality of hunger and no job opportunities everywhere, evident in the desperate begging. Andy took me to a village where she's been working for years. Here she is with her god-daughter, Ludni. Every kid in the village is so malnourished they look about three years younger than their actual age.

A new friend! This smart little cookie knew exactly what to do with a pair of sunglasses she found lying on a shelf!

At Fonkoze, (note the ever-present peach-and-purple background!) my co-worker Ermithe in the accounting division.

In the kitchen at Fonkoze. Every morning, Milo here made juice and I would ask him, "Kisa li ye kom fwi la?!" What kind of fruit is that?! which is how I learned all the tropical fruits I'd never heard of: kowosol, kashimen...! He's always smiling and singing along to the radio, and I loved seeing him when I went to get my morning coffee!

On my street, avenue Christophe. I took this photo on the way to work, on my last day in Haiti. It was about 6am, before the streets got too crowded, and the vendors were just setting up shop. These folks were preparing to deep fry some Haitian tastiness, to sell to the passing school kids for breakfast.

This is the only picture I have of its sort and it's one of my favorites because it is so classically Haiti--the market women who sit all day, every day, waiting to sell whatever produce or goods they have. I first had to ask the woman permission to take her picture, then negotiate with her how much it would cost me (about 20 cents, which is all the Haitian currency I had left!)

It's also the type of picture I was so loathe to take... up until it was time to leave. Who wants to document poverty, singling yourself out as an outsider waving an expensive camera, when you are trying so hard to fit in and be part of a community? Thus, it's my perfect final picture from a country of extremes.

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