Max in Haiti

You want me to go where?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Rain Over Me

Hi everyone,

By now, I’m sure that my regular readership has dwindled to a handful of souls due in no small part to the weeks-long absence of new posts.

Well, a few interesting things have happened since my last post though, as you may have noticed, this blog makes do with a very broad definition of the third word in this sentence.

As you may recall, I have been complaining about the lack of social life down here compared to the near bacchanal that was life in Adams Morgan. Well, the solution turned out to be glaringly obvious: bring Adams Morgan down to Port-au-Prince. And it all happened thanks to the wonders of pottery.

So it took a Columbia Ave. resident (thanks again, Eleanor) and her Port-au-Prince friends to show me that people actually do go out at night and that expats do not have to spend their evenings on lock down. And so a couple of dinner parties and one night-time “happy hour” later, I am happy to report that there is life after work down here.

But just as things were getting to be interesting in Port-au-Prince, it was time to leave for the countryside and administer my training workshops. Travel is becoming increasingly difficult down here due to the start of the rainy season. I’m pretty sure that it started on Friday March 16 at four o’clock. I had not seen rain in weeks up to that point and ever since it has poured everyday at the same time. This usually knocks out power for a while, which means that I often get home from work and the gym to sit in the dark at home while waiting for the juice to return. I am actually getting pretty good at cooking in the dark. And hitting the trails in Haiti becomes a pretty uncertain proposition. Since every road leading out of Port-au-Prince must at some point ford a river, you never know if the water level will let you pass. Fortunately for me, I was able to avoid being stranded so far, but it seems to happen to everyone at some point.

There was an interesting road incident a couple of days ago when the Toyota I was in broke down in the middle of nowhere. A metal beam that connected the rear axel to the frame of the car had snapped in half, making the SUV swerve uncontrollably. Fortunately, we were able to limp to a village and make repairs. We (just the driver and I) ended up in the front yard of a scrap metal shop, a dusty little courtyard full of the rusting remains of bed frames, ladders and dozen other pieces of iron, steel or copper. Long-tailed lizards scampered about the jagged pile, while the local children gathered to observe the repairs and, I imagined, the confused-looking blanc. While this was going on, the whole driver’s side rear quarter of the Toyota was dismantled and the two parts of the broken rod brought to the welder, who managed to fuse the part together again while squatting in the dirt. The car was then put back together, good as new, and we were on our way. The cost of the repairs? Just over $20.

I wish I could have included pictures, but I’m experiencing some camera troubles.

Well, I’ll leave it at that for now. I cannot wait to be in DC in just about 10 days.

A la prochaine,



Blogger tradebabe said...

DC in 10 days - you lucky man. Plus you found friends in PAUP. Double lucky you

3:05 AM  
Blogger amelia said...

e-mail me your travel/DC plans so i can include you on any birthday plans.....

2:56 PM  

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