(Above) Me, Lyndia, Simone, Dot, Iznard (the driver), and Jeremy
I didn’t get to blog last night, so I’ll try to blog twice tonight to catch up.
Saturday after work we went to Giant, the western grocery store in town. It has most everything a US grocery store has, but at much higher prices. Everyone goes there for their own personal food for their own snacking needs. I settled for some cans of soup and I was excited to try spicy peanut butter. It seems like chili powder is in EVERYTHING here. I kind of like it.
About 6 of us decided to take a little road trip to the top of a mountain to see Fort Jacques. It’s an old fort that was built to protect Haiti after it gained independence from France in 1804. It’s complete with imported original French and English cannons from the 1700s. The fort was restored in 1984, but unfortunately much of that work crumbled in the earthquake last year, leaving parts of an old fort covered in piles of rock. As we arrived, we were approached by a local who was very eager to show us around. Haitians are very entrepreneurial and will do anything for a few gourds. (That’s the Haitian currency. 40 gourde = $1.) He was actually very knowledgeable and helpful, so we were happy to let him show us around and give him a nice tip. The views from this place were spectacular.
The other spectacular thing was riding in the back of the pickup truck with Simone (one of the other volunteers) for the wild ride up and down the mountain. There are no real traffic laws here and everyone goes when they fit through. Horns are honking, sidewalk markets are spilling out onto the road, pedestrians are dashing across (balancing big baskets of goods on their heads) and some on the sidewalks are yelling out “Yo Blanc!” (It’s not an insult.)
Oh I just remembered… when I was running my hands accross the old stone walls at the fort, some of the mortar felt hard, but some of the mortar felt very soft… it almost felt like caulking…