HNOW in Haiti: Mommy's House
Day 2 in Haiti, I woke up before dawn because I wanted to catch the Sunrise. I have seen beautiful Sunrises when I used to travel aboard cruise ships, so I wanted to catch a few photos and be with God for a moment on the roof as the Sun lit up the sky. The Sunrise was beautiful and I heard my first roosters crow! I couldn't even see where the roosters were coming from, and I didnt see any on the ground, but they crowed NON-STOP! I felt like a true city girl because no one else seemed as excited as I was for the roosters. People packed themselves inside of camyonets headed towards the main road as soon as the sun lit up the sky. Haitians do not waste one ounce of sunlight. From what I could see, the woman on the side of the road was already selling patties, the construction team across the street were already hauling cement, and the maids were hanging wet clothes outside to dry. I can see where the Haitian hustle mentality comes from!
For breakfast we had spaghetti. In Haiti, spaghetti and sausage is breakfast. Not too long after we headed towards my mother's hometown, Miragoane. Miragoane is west of Port-au-Prince and sits pretty close to the coastline. Along the way stopped at a few resorts that were under construction. We wanted to see what the future of Haitian business would look like, and we wanted an excuse to get close to the water. From there it took us about an hour to arrive at my mother's house. Most of my mothers family has relocated to the States or Canada, so there wasn't anyone we really knew. I just enjoyed the experience we had identifying ourselves.
"Mwen se petit petit Constance, eske'w sonje yon Constance ki te ret la?"
(I am the grandchild of Constance, do you remember a Constance living here?)
I've never met my grandparents, so having to use my grandmother's name made me feel really connected to her. I've never had to identify myself like that before ever. Without my grandmother, there is no me. I felt special.
I touched the surrounding trees, knowing that's where my mother used to find shade. I walked around and stood on top of a concrete block and looked around. I looked at my feet and saw some writings on the ground. The concrete block I stood on was a tombstone belonging to my great grandfather's grave. I was silent for a while then began to cry. I don't what made me so emotional. It could've been because I was "meeting" people with stories and wisdom that I'd never hear. It also could be because if I hadnt been observant I would have never "met" them at all. Although we didn't stay long because her home had been torn down, something about just being there meant the world to me. I'm grateful for the experience.
Upon leaving my mother's house we traveled on a road that passed in between the hills that led to the largest market I'd ever seen. People were everywhere, selling everything. Here I was in the middle of a Haitian flea market. When people hear Haiti is the "poorest country in the Western hemisphere" they associate that with having nothing. Haiti has everything but money doesnt circulate well. On the route home there were beautiful views of the mountains, and plains. In these views you got a really good look at the bauxite. Bauxite is red soil that is used to make aluminum. There are miles and miles of grounds with red soil. It's beams so beautifully in the sun. Thinking back now I wish I touched it to feel the texture, but I'm a city girl. I haven't connected with my country roots just yet to get down and dirty. We passed the docking areas that ship and receive cars and trucks from other countries, we saw the old bauxite distribution areas, and made our way home.