Perhaps it is because no American has been busted by the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control for going to Cuba for a couple of years, perhaps it is because 42 new travel service providers have been validated by the US government to operate between the two countries, perhaps because these last reminders of [...]
Haiti Final Anecdotes and Video
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 [...]
Backpacker Hotel Rio Dulce Guatemala
RIO DULCE, Guatemala- The Backpacker Hotel sits on the bank of the Rio Dulce in the eastern fringes of Guatemala. It is made of large plank boards and looks like a plantation storage house, its common area extends out over the river, and the rooms look out to the jungle beyond. Iguanas play on the [...]
Corrupt Immigration Officers Dominican Republic
SANTIAGO AIRPORT, Dominican Republic- “No se acceptan dinero. Ni pesos, ni dollares, ni Euro,” was written on large posters stuck to the front of each immigration booth at the Santiago international airport.
Apparently, these signs are suppose to keep the immigration officials honest. My experience can only attest that these posters do not function as intended.
Santiago Airport Hotel
SANTIAGO AIRPORT, Dominican Republic- What to do about extremely early flight departures? What do you do when your flight is set to leave at 3:27 AM from a foreign city where you have no friends, no form of personal transportation, and a tight budget? Do you pay for a hotel room for an entire night [...]
Leaving Sosua Going to Santiago Airport
SOSUA, Dominican Republic- We said a lot of goodbyes as we left Sosua, the place in the north of th Dominican Republic that my family had made our home for the past six weeks. “I really hate saying goodbye,” my wife spoke just before leaving our room behind. But the number of goodbyes you say [...]
Crossing Border Haiti to Dominican Republic
HAITI- And then the bus exploded. I am not joking. 30 Haitians clogged the minibus’ door in a solid mass of black arms, legs. A dish of rice when flying, I saw a large butt squeezed in there somewhere, people were yelling, while hot steam and smoke was shooting out from the engine all over the inside of the bus.
I jumped out a window.
Travel to Labadie Haiti Village
LABADIE VILLAGE, Haiti- “I live in my own little world, but it’s okay, they know me here.”
I read this painted on an inside panel of a boat taxi as I rode into Labadie village on the north coast of Haiti. I had paid 60 cents to ride in a tap tap (the back of a pickup truck with 20 other people) from Cap-Haitien to Labadie beach and then 10 gourde, or 25 cents, for a boat to the village.
What is a Haitian Dollar
CAP-HAITIEN, Haiti- “Four dollar,” spoke the woman behind the counter of a restaurant where I attempted to make my first commercial interaction in Haiti.
“What!?! Four dollars for a bottle of water?” I figured that she must have meant four gourde, the Haitian standard of currency. Though this would have meant that the cost of the bottle of water would have been extremely low, around 10 cents. This did not seem right, but I handed over a five gourde coin anyway expecting change.
Haitians Speak English
HAITI- “Do you know Dorthy?” a Haitian high school student asked me as we sat together in the back of a crowded tap tap. He then added, “Dorthy from Michigan?” just to make sure I knew which one he was talking about.
I had to admit that I did not know Dorthy from Michigan.
We had been talking in English for the better part of 20 minutes as waited for the pickup truck to fill with passengers. The student had a high command of the English language, which is something that I found many Haitians possess.