We have landed once more in Port-au-Prince. As this is our 8th time visiting Haiti, we have developed a sort of routine. It mostly involves a few runs up the EPIC drive way passing the UN apartments, a few lunges back at the bottom to make the fruit and coffee that follows extra tasty, and us in high spirits as we are driven to the factory to work on our garments!
We were going to take a moment to write about the importance of building relationships with those you work with in order to create an efficient and pleasant work space. However, we have decided to create a sort of Haitian checklist. A list of things you can check off while you’re spending SO MUCH TIME in Port-au-Prince traffic. It’s CLEARLY a game you can’t miss out on, so come visit us on this beautiful, magnificent and crazy island.
1) Seen the most beautifully decorated Tap Taps (public transport) rolling through the streets: The artwork painted on the sides are beautiful vignettes of daily life, they look the kind of party bus you want to take despite the fact that they are often overcrowded.
2) The most colourful artwork lining the streets
3) Full pharmacies wrapped around a basket and resting atop someone’s head
4) An entire family on a motorcycle expertly making their way through crazy traffic
5) Spent 2 hours in traffic to get somewhere that should only take 10 minutes
6) Everything you could imagine (and even what you cannot imagine) piled in the back of pick up truck.
7) Goats and pigs roaming freely between people and traffic
8) Scoured the pepe markets for hidden gems
9) Sampled delicious lambi (conch) with breadfruit and twice fried plantains (it’s worth taking a rest break from traffic!)
10) Gun-laden security guards standing guard in front of every grocery store (even the corner stores)
11) A marching street band winding their way through the streets on sunny afternoons
12) Tasted the sweetest coffee from a street vendor. It tastes more like coffee flavoured sugar
13) A procession of school children in their perfectly pressed uniforms making their way down the street to school
14) Potholes so large you fear the car might tumble down and never get out
15) Entire home furnishings crafted from wood made on the side of the streets
16) Mountainous hills which ascend right to the picture perfect beaches