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Published: January 17th 2009
visiting the desolate temporary-shelters of hurricane victims in Gonaive, Haiti
Sitting here in my mother's lofty Petion-Ville apartment with an unbeatable view of Port-au-Prince sprawled out in the valley below, I am amazed at how the last month has flown by in a blur of Christmas holidays, beach days, impromptu dinners and work excursions to the countryside. After finishing my last undergrad class in early December I flew down to Haiti with a huge snowstorm on my heels. Since then some of the highlights were
• spending Christmas day at the beach with my mom and a bevy of lovely old friends, washing down grilled lobster with rum punches and catching up on eachothers lives
• traveling with a Save the Children team of delegates to the remote mountain village of Baie D''Orange where children were starving to death in the wake of last fall''s four succesional hurricanes. Wiped out food supplies and road damage had cut off the community, but luckily they were discovered and out of the 60 kids flown by helicopter to the nearest un-flooded hospital only four didnt survive. I met with the survivers as they scarfed down big bowls of rice and beans after the Christmas festivites they had planned for the delegation. Adorable to say
the least. Similar scenes in the city of Gonaive that had been completely sumberged by the hurricanes, entire districts buried in mud that had slid down from the mountain, slowly emerging from the wreckage...the local children are taking part in daily Safe Spaces camps for kids much to their joy.
• partying with old highschool friends and my siblings during the Port-au-Prince "December Season" as we call it, when everyone floods the city from abroad until the peak happens on December 31st. We spent new years eve taking in a concert by the voodoo-rock group RAM. I had listened to RAM albums and watch my mom and her young friends get ready for the concert almost every Thursday since I was about 10, so the evening felt like more of a right of passage into the dancing, drumming world of the Olofson than anything.
• Haitian food alone is a reason to come and stay for a month (or a year): griot, tassot, fried plantain, rice and beans, creole chicken, and the pastries..oh my 😊
Tomorrow I pack my backpack, say goodbye to my mom, and fly to Buenos Aires to meet up with my dear German friend with
Baie d''Orange Christmas celebration with the Safe Space Children and parents this one
whom I've been planning this trip since our first discussion about it in Toulouse, France back in 2006. Now it''s time, now Í'm ready, now I''m off!
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