I recently returned from at trip to Haiti. I was with a wonderful, caring group. I met most of them at the airport in Philadelphia as we were boarding to fly to the island of Turks and Caicos. From there we would fly to Cap-Haitien, Haiti the next day.
It takes some time for me to process what I experience after a week in Haiti.
I took this photo one morning on the shore of a small fishing village called Bod Me Limbe. It is on the northern coast of Haiti. I added warm, yellow light in processing to give it an exotic look. I took this just before I threw up, either from my anti-malaria antibiotic or from lack of sleep or from some voodoo curse…take your pick.
Haiti is challenging. I don’t accept challenges very well. The Haitian people make the challenges worthwhile. They have the best smiles I have ever seen. The people of Haiti live difficult lives but you wouldn’t know it by observing them. They move through their days with ease and grace. Oh sure, you can see the poverty and unsanitary conditions every where, but that is their lives and they deal with it….every day.
During the times I have been in Haiti, I try not to view their country through the judging eyes of an American. I try to use some sort of non-biased vision and try to understand it all a little better. Even now while writing this, I still can’t put in words how I feel or what this latest experience has taught me about Haiti. Let’s just say, I am not ready for a position in the State Department.
One thing I do understand, while in Haiti, you will see things and experience things that normally you would not see or experience.
Ironically, one experience came from a group of Americans that weren’t part of our group.
We shared our compound in a very rural part of Haiti, outside of a village called Jacquesyl, with another American team that was doing healthcare work. They invited us over to their house for some fellowship and camaraderie. They did mention that there might be some singing.
At one strange moment, someone called out a number from of a sing-a-long book. The next few moments were quite surreal. It was a most perplexing experience. I still am having a hard time dealing with this in my seemingly rational consciousness.
At one moment in time there was a room full of very white Americans sitting in a house in the Haitian wilderness singing “Black Magic Woman”.
I’m sure at the exact time of this occurrence, Carlos Santana was somewhere in the throes of intestinal distress.
If you like this photo, you can see more of my pictures here.