Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Bridging the gap in Haiti

Only three hours in Haiti, I'd seen forms of travel that spanned hundreds of years – a woman on a mule, a man on a horse, people walking, riding bicycles and on mopeds, brightly colored taxis called tap-taps, tractor trailers, the truck my friends own, and of course, the airplane I flew in on.

Scene from rural Haiti.

Many of these forms of transportation were subject to hitchhiking, too. Meaning, if there was space in or on that vehicle, and someone needed a ride, it wasn't unusual for a traveler to hop on.

During one of our trips from the capital to the country, we had several Haitians hop in the back of our truck, getting out when they found themselves where they needed to go. That's not unusual. For Haitians, a tap-tap is simply too expensive and many must walk the miles between home and the marketplace – or even more necessary, church.

Attending church is Haiti is a grand celebration not to be missed. Haitians put on their best clothes, clean and pressed, and make sure they have the best spot for service.

A church service.

At once point during our drive, I was certain we'd reached the end of a road, but Jamie assured me we still had several miles to go before we made it to our destination. In front of us, a great crowd poured into the street, which by now looked to me like a grass-covered parking lot, forcing us to stop.

Little girls ranging in age from probably six to sixteen dressed in white from head to toe joined hands and sang beautifully as they formed a large circle. Other churchgoers made their way outside and circled them. A small band exited last and played one final chorus before a well-dressed man stood in the center of the circle and offered a prayer for the city of Furcy during its celebration. This short service reminded me of some of the small town celebrations I'd attended as a child in rural south Georgia, mixing God with grits and our Sunday finest.

Even within its own borders, there are years of difference between the miles that separate city living and country life. Headed to see a family in one of Jamie and Ali's social services programs, we spent three hours rounding corners and balancing on narrow paths as we climbed a mountain to a remote and close-knit village of several homes.

Along the way, we crossed dry river beds, now used as trash piles, through which children forge a path and from which family-owned farm animals feed. We crossed flowing river beds in which women wash laundry (left) and children bathe.

It's not hard to imagine that for rural Americans, some of these ways of life are part of a not too distant past.

And I watched the women work. And I saw the children play. And I embraced the family who smiled when we arrived at their home, delivering formula to the father of a newborn whose wife died during childbirth. And I felt a connection to a country that so resembles my own with a hardworking, proud, and honest people who invite their neighbors in for supper, over for church, and back for a visit the next time around.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
VAN
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
PLUG IN YOUR TV AND PLAY video game collection
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 23, 2020
SHIMANO TIAGRA A 50W REEL
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
PLAY SOFTBALL
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
I BUY OLD BAND INSTRUMENTS
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 23, 2020
Ad
Previous article

Best Reader stories from 2017

Spruce Street, Balboa Park trees, OB and Gaslamp night scenes, grunion, Fitzgerald, Border Angels, Trail Angels, Pendleton for kids, San Diego Zoo's bonobos, Los Coyotes deaths
Next Article

All the internet's a stage: the Old Globe goes online

Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Haitian hitchhikers. Pretty much anything with wheels is fair game.
Haitian hitchhikers. Pretty much anything with wheels is fair game.

Only three hours in Haiti, I'd seen forms of travel that spanned hundreds of years – a woman on a mule, a man on a horse, people walking, riding bicycles and on mopeds, brightly colored taxis called tap-taps, tractor trailers, the truck my friends own, and of course, the airplane I flew in on.

Scene from rural Haiti.

Many of these forms of transportation were subject to hitchhiking, too. Meaning, if there was space in or on that vehicle, and someone needed a ride, it wasn't unusual for a traveler to hop on.

During one of our trips from the capital to the country, we had several Haitians hop in the back of our truck, getting out when they found themselves where they needed to go. That's not unusual. For Haitians, a tap-tap is simply too expensive and many must walk the miles between home and the marketplace – or even more necessary, church.

Attending church is Haiti is a grand celebration not to be missed. Haitians put on their best clothes, clean and pressed, and make sure they have the best spot for service.

A church service.

At once point during our drive, I was certain we'd reached the end of a road, but Jamie assured me we still had several miles to go before we made it to our destination. In front of us, a great crowd poured into the street, which by now looked to me like a grass-covered parking lot, forcing us to stop.

Little girls ranging in age from probably six to sixteen dressed in white from head to toe joined hands and sang beautifully as they formed a large circle. Other churchgoers made their way outside and circled them. A small band exited last and played one final chorus before a well-dressed man stood in the center of the circle and offered a prayer for the city of Furcy during its celebration. This short service reminded me of some of the small town celebrations I'd attended as a child in rural south Georgia, mixing God with grits and our Sunday finest.

Even within its own borders, there are years of difference between the miles that separate city living and country life. Headed to see a family in one of Jamie and Ali's social services programs, we spent three hours rounding corners and balancing on narrow paths as we climbed a mountain to a remote and close-knit village of several homes.

Along the way, we crossed dry river beds, now used as trash piles, through which children forge a path and from which family-owned farm animals feed. We crossed flowing river beds in which women wash laundry (left) and children bathe.

It's not hard to imagine that for rural Americans, some of these ways of life are part of a not too distant past.

And I watched the women work. And I saw the children play. And I embraced the family who smiled when we arrived at their home, delivering formula to the father of a newborn whose wife died during childbirth. And I felt a connection to a country that so resembles my own with a hardworking, proud, and honest people who invite their neighbors in for supper, over for church, and back for a visit the next time around.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
WING CHUN KUEN
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
PLAY PIANO
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
MENDEZ HOME SERVICES
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
05 HONDA CRF150F
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
PEN PALS WANTED
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
Previous article

San Diego airport increasingly vacant, salaries aren't

$400,000 in pay and benefits comforts high-dollar executive
Next Article

Que Huong Vietnamese restaurant serves quail, wild boar, deer, and more

Trying something new while stuck at home
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close