Fishing Boat in Bod Me Limbe, Haiti



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.


Rocky Mountains in Black and White

image_1-1Rocky Mountain high….in Colorado.  

Big Surf Daddy had to transition from the salt water curls to the fresh water staircases of the Arkansas River outside of Buena Vista, Colorado.   He made the transition so well my alter ego has an alter ego.   Big Surf became Big Drop Daddy.

My wife and I ventured out to Colorado a few weeks ago.   I needed some continuing education to stay legal and relevant.  There was also a reunion of classmates from my days at the University of Houston.   I will leave off the amount of years from ‘twixt the last time I saw some of these lads and lasses till the present age.   I am secure in the wisdom and wrinkles I have accumulated over the years, but I don’t know if they are as mature as I.

During our last day in Estes Park after the classes and reunion, my wife developed her own “Rocky Mountain High”, a bad case of altitude sickness.    So… I figured the best cure would be to go another three thousand feet higher to Breckenridge.

As we arrived at our small hotel in Breckenridge, Mr. Karma came a visitin’.

While carrying our luggage up to our second floor room, I suddenly became sympathetic to the sufferings of a three-pack a day smoker who decided to start a fitness routine.   I was reminded of John Candy playing racquetball with Tom Hanks in “Splash”.

My wife would have appreciated the irony if she hadn’t been so dizzy.

We had a good-night sleep and felt better the next day.   It helped that we went down about three thousand feet  to Buena Vista for our white water rafting excursion, our first time, by the way.

Our trip down the Arkansas River was booked through River Runners.   I must say it was a tremendously good time.   Our guide was both entertaining and very experienced on the river.   He gave us a great ride.  I would recommend them to anyone.   One piece of info for you first-timers…don’t drink too much coffee before the trip.    Big Drop Daddy found it a little more challenging on the river to rid himself of the coffee’s effect on his bladder than Big Surf Daddy does in the ocean.

I took this picture on a dark and rainy day in  Rocky Mountain National Park.   The black and white worked better for the mood of the day and provided more drama.

My wife and I were with some former classmates, driving through the park.   I must say they were as nice and pleasant as I remembered them.   They were very good to my wife, whom they had just met.    One poignant moment, a midst a beautiful backdrop of mountains, they were all three in a small huddle looking at their phones comparing pictures of sons and daughters.  I guess mothers are all the same when it comes to their children, no matter if they are from Wales, South Africa, or Grants Lick, Kentucky.    In a way, it was more beautiful and natural than the mountainscape they were presently ignoring.

This was a good reunion with old friends.   These friends helped me get through some challenging times many years ago.   It was good to see where they ended up and how we have handled parenthood and our profession.   But most of all it was good to reconnect with those souls that I cared about long ago and to realize we could get back together after all these years as if nothing ever changed.

By the way, my wife and I felt a little better on the drive back to Denver.   I thought a window seat would make us  feel better on the plane ride back home.    The plane was full.    To guarantee a window seat while boarding, I called “SHOTGUN!”  Evidently that has a different meaning at Denver International Airport.

If you like this photo, you can see more of my pictures here.