His Heart for Haiti

Giving Hope Through Child Sponsorship

Traveling in Haiti

3 Comments

We drive through many rivers here. There are bridges on the "highways" usually!

We drive through many rivers here. There are bridges only on the “highways!”

U.S. Travel: Traveling in the U.S. this past summer we remarked how predictable everything was, even from State to State. There were a few exceptions, but by and large there was a McDonalds and a Holiday Inn Express every thirty miles or so!

Haiti Travel: We took a road trip through Haiti before our U.S. trip and we had the opposite experience. Here, we usually try to pack food to eat since fast food is a rarity…unless you want to take a chance with something being cooked along the street. On this trip we discovered that new gas stations can be an option for “fast food” or restrooms, but that you can also drive for hours and hours before finding one of those.

Five hours into our trip to northern Haiti and the Dominican Republic, we found a place by a gas station that would heat up frozen pizzas. It ended up being a very long wait as the oven heated very unevenly! But back on our way, we counted our blessings as we devoured pizza! On the return trip we had visions of pizza in our heads again, but when we finally arrived at the same place, it was closed for inventory!

This is going to be a problem!

This is going to be a problem! (taken in the Dominican Republic)

Since we were traveling through unfamiliar territory and there are few road signs, we needed our GPS. The highways pass through every town and we found out that the main route can turn abruptly without signs to alert you. Consequently, when we were driving through Gonaives, without warning we suddenly found ourselves buried right in the middle of a market! It took a few tight turns and a review of GPS (We were feeling very disoriented) to get our bearings and get back on the right route!

Typical city streets!

Typical city streets! You always have to watch for those motorcycles and bikes!

We have counted up to seven people on a bike! (that would be mostly little kids!)

We have counted up to seven people on a bike! (that would be mostly little kids!)

You never usually see the taxis empty here! They are called "tap-taps" because people tap the sides to get off!

Taxis are called “tap-taps” because people tap the sides to get off!

Tap-taps usually don't pull onto the highway until they are jammed full!

Tap-taps usually don’t pull onto the highway until they are jammed full!

Very few Haitians can afford a car, so they do about anything to get a ride!

Very few Haitians can afford a car, so they do about anything to get a ride!

The next thing is the amount of unpaved and unrepaired roads one has to endure. After eleven hours of bouncing around in the back, one of our kids actually jumped out screaming! Luckily, at that point we were home… Riding in the front seat is the lap of luxury as far as bumps and air conditioning go. We tried to take turns because sitting in the front is much better than the back.

Finally, there is the element of surprise that comes with traveling in Haiti. (We know it is like this in other parts of the world too.) Roadblocks occur in and nearby major cities. Coming through Port-au-Prince on the way back we could see up ahead that the road is totally filled with people, and now the people are running in our direction as tear gas starts flying! We have to quickly turn around and back-track with the fleeing mob…

Crossing the country in any directions means crossing the mountains! Landslides are common!

Crossing the country in any direction means crossing mountains! Rock slides and lots of construction are common!

Market Day is a favorite activity in Haiti. Each town has a certain day of the week and you just take your time getting through!

Market Day is a favorite activity in every town in Haiti. You just take your time getting through!

Most towns have Market Day on Saturday as well as one other day of the week. You have to learn which towns to avoid on which day! Once we were in the mountains and came upon a small village Market Day. We knew what was coming because for a long ways we first passed all the donkeys “parallel parked” on each side of the road! Since they were not expecting a vehicle to come through their town, they had to move tables and produce piled on the ground for us to drive through!

These are bamboo boats that float one way downstream with goods to market!

These are bamboo boats one sees floating downstream with goods (and animals) to market! There is a suspension foot bridge crossing the river at the top!

These amazing boats are disassembled and sold at their destination!

These amazing boats are only good for a one-way trip…they are disassembled and sold at their destination!

They tell us if you want to understand the Haitian culture, it is somewhat like Haitian driving. You never stop, you just maneuver your way around everything and everybody. There are no hard and fast rules; you take it as it comes and everything is negotiable. If there is a will, there is a way! That must be why they keep coming back up each time they get knocked down.

We are going out on the road again to visit some new schools. This is truck we take...always a full load on the way back...including livestock!

This is the truck we use to visit schools…always a full load on the way back, including livestock!

 

 

 

Advertisements

Author: Mike + Susie

Missionaries in Les Cayes Haiti

3 thoughts on “Traveling in Haiti

  1. I love this post!! You have to experience Haiti for what it is to truly appreciate the stamina of the people!! And I am sure even though I have had the opportunity to be there 4 times that I only saw a glimpse of what you are experiencing!! I’m thankful that you are there and ministering so faithfully!! May God bless you and your family!! Love you all!!
    Marilyn

    • Thanks for the encouraging comments! Four times is a lot! Traveling out to visit schools is one of the hardest parts for us. I still have a headache from going yesterday…I think my brain is bruised! We take turns…Susie went today…works for us!

  2. Hello! Spending time with your family while you were in Bluffton was such a blessing to me! Thanks for your posts that help give me perspective and prayer material. Love in Christ, Jenna

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s