CAP-HAITIEN, Haiti– The following is a video of my walk out of Cap-Haitien in the north of Haiti along with a couple stray anecdotes of conversations that did not get published with the rest of the Haiti travelogue entries.
I have been trying to publish this video since returning to the Dominican Republic from Haiti around a month ago, but now, in El Salvador, is the first time that I have had an internet connection strong enough for the uploading of videos to Youtube.
I like to publish videos that show a street view of a place — videos that take as their aim the showing of what it is like to be in a place — though I need to come up with better methods for shooting video while walking. This video is far too shaky. I need to come up with a better strategy for making short, minimally edited, travel videos.
Spare anecdotes from the Haiti notebook
“Where are you from?” I asked a group of white, blond girls in a hotel in Cap-Haiten, Haiti.
They told me that they were from Portland.
“What are you doing here?” I then asked.
“We were working on a project,” one of the girls answered.
I raised my eyebrows, encouraging her to continue. “A project?”
“We were growing gardens in Lambay, you know, helping the people there.”
The conversation ended there.
After ten years of travel I still have no idea why Americans think that the bulk of the people in the world are so incapable that they need troupes of unskilled white girls imported from Portland, Oregon to grow their gardens for them.
“You should write about the earthquake,” a Haitian high school student urged as we sat in the back of a public transport pickup truck together, “you should write a book or a magazine article.”
I had told him that I was a writer. He asked me what books I wrote. I told him that I write articles, sometimes for magazines, mostly for myself. I handed him a Vagabondjourney.com business card.
“My mother and father are there [in Port-au-Prince],” he continued, “I tell them that they should come here but they don’t want to leave.”
The student explained how his mother’s home was destroyed in the earthquake in Port-au-Prince, and how he lived with his father in Cap-Haitien. He invited his mother’s family to come and stay with them in northern Haiti, which was not directly impacted by the earthquake, but, with a shrug, said that they would rather stay in the capital and rebuild their home.
“Where are they living?” I asked the student about his mother’s family.
“In te, te,” the student struggled with finding the correct English word.
“In tents?” I helped.
“Yes,” he continued, “they are living in tents, but it is okay for them.”
“Do they have food and water?” I asked.
“Sometimes they have food and sometimes they have water.”
“Is it given to them by NGOs?”
“Yes, a little,” the student continued, “sometimes they fight and sometimes they don’t.”