The Neighbourhood

It has been the most real unreal experience. It’s a difficult sensation to put into words. How do I express the events of the last few days without doing them an injustice? I’ve attempted to hang onto every moment with the intention of living into the vibrant pulse of life inPort-au-Prince. The pulp of experiences here has pierced my skin and reached my soul. I love this place for its kind people and incredible geography and I am challenged by the hardness of the life here at the same time. There is such visual contradiction it is astounding.

The rush of the moto was comforting, not to mention a dream come true. Everyone knows I have acquiring a motorcycle license on my mind;) But I’ll leave it to the PAP drivers to zoom me around these streets. These taxi drivers have mad skill…and madd style might I add. I can’t quite get over their winter tukes and hipster glasses. It is an amazing sight that makes me smile every time. I’d hang onto the back of one of these guys any day and will miss the opportunity inToronto! Granted that I have been won over mostly by the fact that moto drivers have been the transport for me and the Pepe to and from the market. Definite Local Buttons bias!

What at first came across to me as chaos has developed into some odd sense of routine I’ve begun to experience. It makes me smile to realize this adaptation I am feeling. Work in the morning, market shops once or twice a week, walking to the super market a couple times a week through a familiar neighbourhood, preparing meals and enjoying outings with some of the same people again and again. There’s a lot to be said for repetition. The familiarity is comforting and relationships grow stronger. Two weeks is a very short time, and a longer stay would allow for more depth, but I can’t get greedy 😉

It’s quite a sight. Hilly roads, swerving traffic, vegetable and product stands, garbage piles and bins on fire, enormous puddles, fallen houses some being raised to the ground by workmen and others left untouched. Automobiles the likes of which you’d have never dreamed could still moved and flashy autos of the bourgiousie, civil service, NGOs and UN. On the streets never once does someone miss a “bonjour” or “bonsoir” and you can imagine Anne and I are looked on with curiosity and twinkling eyes. The experience makes us laugh and we’re in the habit of greeting everyone…such that it will definitely stick inToronto. Sorry in advance 😉

Not sure how to leave off here. I’m still very much in beat with this vibe hanging onto its rhythm in the time I have left. Maybe I’ll dance the kompa tonight! But first some Kreyol food in Petionville…


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