Saturday, August 1, 2009

June 22-25: Our last few days in Haiti

Our last days in Haiti were lazy ones. We invited Andre's cousin Sherley and sister Beatrice to swim at the Villa Imperial Hotel with us. Sherley had fun using my laptop and wi-fi to upload the pictures I took of them to her website in Hi5. We called on the computer with Skype to a cousin in Montreal -- home to over 100,000 Haitian immigrants.

I read a couple of books while I was in Haiti, often by kerosene lamp at night. One was the autobiographical story, recommended by Oprah, of a survivor of the Rwandan holocaust called "Left to Die." The other was a great book called "Haiti in Focus: A Guide to the People, Politics and Culture."

We also ate a lot of mangoes because they were in season, very cheap, and very sweet.

We spent most of our time with Andre's family. Big brother Joel liked showing off his little sister.

One day I realized that all of Andre's immediate family was at home. I got out my camera, so we could take some group shots.

Left to right: Andre's mother Maude, grandmother Jesula, stepfather Mathieu, brother Johnny, sister Beatrice, nephew Joel on sister Marjorie's lap and me. Brother Reginald in front. Below, Andre with his brothers and stepfather.

Mathieu with his daughters Marjorie and Beatrice:

Me with Andre's cousin Joanne. I started tying my hair back because most of the Haitian women wear their hair that way.

I took a few more photos on the way to the airport.

We got a ride to the airport with a friend of Johnny's, whose car broke down right in front of the terminal. We tried to push-start it with him, with no luck, until he insisted we get on our way.

Our 300 pounds of baggage had mostly been given away. We'd hoped to return with some Haitian art, possibly to try our luck on eBay. But we hadn't found anything we liked. So we boarded the flight home with just two day packs and the clothes we were wearing.

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