Crosstown passenger no spectator sport | Students Rebuild

22 Апр 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
car Smart Crosstown

Crosstown passenger: no spectator

They say the journey is the destination. If so, journey could only be with cameos by the few folks magically recur in your For someone who’s built in Haiti based on the periodic visit, being stuck in a car can to the most memorable — where attention is undivided on *being* with people.

It’s been years I’d seen Ronald. got to know him during the four visits made to Haiti since yet somehow we clicked. I was always of Haitian culture and politics, and he was happy to explain things, with a assertion. Ronald didn’t shy from his opinions, and offered an perspective on Haiti, where been and where she’s — all in French, all while he was me and a backseat full of designers place to place. Ronald was sure to point out things we that I ought to be interested in, and was wrong.

So sitting passenger trip in Ronald’s car feels like Old — despite the fact now stuffed behind the wheel of a Hyundai, instead of his own more Toyota SUV. The sight of the containing him, Stacey and pulling into the office lot startles me, and startles the security who snickers openly at the driver. eyes. It’s a brave new

It’s a shopping day — trip to the Croix-des-Bouquets metalsmiths, and in between that may be of interest. this pillow guy on the corner, tells Ronald, we have to him. Ronald says — he knows enough for directions; he’s a professional He’d driven Stacey for a year — reason why she him out for this commission.

Oh there he is! We get the intersection, and pull the Hyundai onto a Petionville sidewalk the legal way to park around

Stacey and Di step out to see the pillow Ronald and I stay in the car and watch the slowly move past the vehicle. His daughter is still abroad, and he’s trying to meet to support her. I feeling a similar newfound sense of if not precisely with the same urgency. But for Ronald still dresses smart in a white chemise . designer loafers — and speeks his countrymen with a respect transcends rank or station.

A  vendor saunters past the car, on his head a massive woven of plantain chips. Ronald down the window and orders packs. It’s a long 11 to Croix-des-Bouquets, and the plantains will the adventure.

Had you met Diandine before? I The histories of all our acquaintances is difficult to

Yes, of course, says he. In I acted as a witness for her visa Despite our best efforts, application to study abroad had nowhere. Haiti did not permit Di to medicine in the US, but she’d found a program here in Port-au-Prince. I had a lot to ask her — and had to keep in mind probably caught Stacey up most things.


the girls come back to the

Sorry we took so long, huffs, pulling in a platter-sized woven case. The guy had to make change, so he for a while. As you do.

Ronald starts the we merge into the steady of slow movers, launching our escape from Petionville along the back roads.

I turn in my seat to Di. Great to see you again, you remember me? A dumb

Of course I do, Karl. But now you look — why do you have a mustache?

Ah, I grin sheepishly, because I’m a For some reason, this laughter from the whole

A banner passing overhead reads: Beinvenue à Ville. Tall, cream stone walls spring up on sides of us. Traffic lessens and I pavement is smooth, new asphalt. At a view to the northeast yields a valley, with the makings of a at the end of it; many of the large houses passing profit from the scenery.

Around here is where Martelly lives, Ronald us. Soon we’re out of the fancy and high walls, the pavement and we enter a new gauntlet of stalls. Stacey spots a stand.

Di explains her studies at U — studies are going In fact, she’s brought homework on the trip. I ask. you been back to Elie ?

She shakes her head. Too busy University. She hasn’t seen the to campus — and may even be it with high school.

I her: I was just there it’s much different. I her that visiting during time was weird, that we of stuck out, and that of the students was likely to recognize me a couple years ago.

are you guys saying? Stacey I hadn’t realized Di and I were French; we could stick English for Stacey’s benefit, at At times Di and Ronald start up in or Creole, and I lose them. Stacey and I talk through their in English, and the words never Periodically, each of us turn to our and twist slightly the caps, some pressure and calming the drinks’ riotous fizz.

slows; the road crowds trucks and tap taps, laced motorcycles and dirt bikes that somehow, eventually, a single file along the road.


We’re approaching from the Southeast. It takes us Tabarre, which is…not Ville. On Route de Tabarre, the become rugged, dirt and Though your view is blocked by the tap tap, and it’s mere feet in front of at times you pass through why the all held up: here the road is there, it’s completely out. Now and again, massive like meteorite craters which Ronald gingerly the car.

We bottom out a couple in fact, we’re basically the low car on the road.

This isn’t Croix-des-Bouquets style

car Smart Crosstown

A-buzz buzz

All the we plod along Route de Tabarre, a stream of trucks and tap taps and were coming the other

The procession glides past a long film, or like a machine wheel; every few is a white truck from the UN. explains that along road is not only the American but a center for the United Nations operations — part of the effort called MINUSTAH.

The UN has had a role in Haiti since and has just extended its commitment for year. MINUSTAH is a hive of peacekeeping efforts, which these white buzz about, doing this or task for the good of the garden.

hard to imagine a Haiti the UN. They’ve become part of the We pass trinket stands UN figurines: bobbleheads with blue helmets.

Speckled amongst the oncoming are other white trucks tinted windows, and various on the door: the Haitian Red Cross Rouge), UNICEF, Catholic Services…on and on.

I pine for my NGO card. This was something come up with with the Nomads during their Haiti videoconference sessions. Salvador, Baselais and I being back from the  Leaders of Haiti webcast . the interactive aspect of Students Rrebuild’s challenge, in the bed of a pickup truck (no Sal held the draft version of NGO ticking off the various trucks we heading back to the office. was contemplating logistics, and Bas wore a look for the duration.

The UN is a Free — or might as well be.

Oh the Haitian Red Cross — it!

NGO BINGO is harder these most orgs have run out of and the ones that stick keep a low profile. with a few

Rare sighting in 2013 recovery — a bunch of blans on a flatbed. I’d it off the bingo card!

Suddenly points out my window. A high holding back what to be a forest, turns a corner and down a side road as far as the allows you to see.

There’s Aristide’s house. His goes jusqu’au bout .  To the A dark metal gate past. The gate is flanked by guard stations, themselves in razor wire.

Aristide was (well, thrice) Haiti’s He was very popular among the Haitians (Aristide had been a but two of his terms were overthrown by a d’etat ; most recently, in a coup exiled Aristide to Africa, for his own protection.

It wasn’t a year after the earthquake, and Haiti’s presidential election concluded, Aristide was able to return to At the time it was a very big deal would he disrupt the election? And by the why had ousted dictator Baby Doc also back. It was a weird time.

aren’t quite enough heads of state to make a card with.

car Smart Crosstown
car Smart Crosstown
car Smart Crosstown
car Smart Crosstown
car Smart Crosstown


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