A Taste of Creole Spice

It is wonderful to live so many new experiences each day. The atmosphere of PAP offers something new every day. There’s so much movement in the city to experience. I am hooked and never let down always given new information to process alone, with Anne, and with the people we’ve met and continue to meet along the way.

The opportunity to experience PAP by foot has been the greatest privilege of this trip for me. It only seems appropriate to be immersed in the daily grind such that when I finish the day I have the grit on my clothes and skin to show for it…as would be the case from any day spent in any city. PAP has its own flavour that I’m enjoying immensely and that ignites great curiosity to discover its secrets…

We laughed together so much in the Pepe market. All of us, vendors alike, were getting so much joy out of the choosing process. It looked funny seeing us hold up jeans, shirts, and jackets that were obviously far too large for us. Parez got his nickname “Grandpere Pimp” as he bargained a good deal to lend out his “femme blanche” to the eager Haitian suitors. No one could afford us however! We all settled for the bargains struck up for the Pepe instead. I’m happy with that;) It was so much fun, and I look forward to the next big shop tomorrow! HOT for sure, but entirely worth it!!

The nights have been particularly revealing of the culture. We’ve been whisked from the sidelines of the bar into the dance of the Kompat by Haitian enthusiasts. That was quite the fun washed down with far too much vodka in one glass! Never mind that we had a night ahead of us hitting up 3 or 4 places each time we’ve gone out. Each bar has been very different serving a clientele in pursuit of a particular vibe. I can’t wait to go back to one bar that’s hosting a reggae concert next week…I probably CAN wait A LONG TIME before I need to witness the prostitute bar again 😉 It just goes to show the variety and style of the people at large in PAP, where the foreigners have obviously shaped certain bars and where other bars remain in the many styles of the locals…

Emily never came but she quieted the streets as we all waited her predicted arrival. The calm created an ominous atmosphere for witnessing a sector of PAP that was devastated from the earthquake and remains so to this date. Enormous crumbling structures loom over the stands Haitians have set up to sell produce and goods along the streets. It feels like a ghost town resides above. Garbage and large murky puddles are impossible to avoid when walking that it takes being in a car to stay clean, which is the sole privilege of a vast minority. It was difficult to witness but Vincent’s incredible good humour talked us through the experience.

And then we were in Port-Salut! We drove out of PAP for the weekend into the beautiful south-western coastal region ofHaiti. Its fresh air the product of lush green trees and bush that cover mountains and valleys and blows onto sandy beaches, and such blue water! The hills were green and the waters blue…and us so white! We laughed a lot as we drew attention walking through the beach festival of Port-Salut and throughout the weekend proceeded to have such good times and adventure…

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