Saturday, October 25, 2008

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Finally a city that makes Napoli look sanitary. Port-au-Prince is very dirty, not very charming, and smells of urine. It is a place where dogs and pigs live in perfect harmony rummaging through burning garbage on the street for food. People make strange noises at you and call you "blanc," ("whitey") as they look at you very peculiarly. Public transportation is a transformed pickup truck that seats twelve. At least you can sleep well at night, because the UN is the police.
Now that I have got you ready to hit up Priceline for your ticket to come for a visit, you should also know that there are some bright lights in this country (although not outside at nighttime). I was privileged to meet some great people, mostly Americans, who are in Haiti trying to make it a better place. I met a doctor who works to get people medicine and help in rural areas. There is a man who works to expose injustice, not to the corrupt authorities, but to the rest of the world. At St. Joseph's, where I stayed, Michael runs a home for boys. My group Hands On Disaster Response performs back-breaking work (ha-ha, yeah) moving mud to get people back into their homes and schools. Food-wise, I really enjoyed the fresh fruit, and I had a great Creole conch dish yesterday. So, if you want to be a do-gooder, Haiti may be for you. How is that for change you can believe in! I may have more thoughts on that later.

No comments: