Life in Haiti
Location: Cap-Haïtien, Haiti
We are blessed.
Te lo juro.
No jokes here. 100% serious about them blessings, bruh. If you’re reading this right now, then count your blessings until the cows come home. Every damn day.
I’m in Haiti right now. Doing a little traveling. Seeing some sites and exploring places most people don’t even consider going. A place I probably shouldn’t be in right now due to the riots.
So I get off the plane, go through customs, and walk outside of the airport.
I’ve got a shuttle scheduled to pick me up and take me to the hotel, but I can’t find it.
There’s no marked van or anything.
Just 100+ sets of eyes staring at me and only me.
Then they start yelling at me, trying to get me to ride with them. To pay them money, as I’m the one traveler outside right now because I was the only person with just checked luggage.
It’s like the opposite of the Rea Sea parting. The sea is closing. All on me. Yelling to get my business. Reaching out to tap me on the shoulder as I pass by.
If you had a drone, the scene would have looked like an eyeball from above. Well, more like the exact opposite of an eyeball. One shaved-headed pasty white dude in the middle of dozens of non-pasty Haitians.
Then amidst the madness I hear my name being shouted out, “Mr. Jake! Mr. Jake Nomada!” but he pronounced it “Jack” like most people from the Caribbean do until I tell them otherwise.
It was my shuttle from the hotel.
My heart stopped beating out my chest as soon as I heard my name. I looked around for a few seconds and found the guy.
The madness was over once the drivers all knew I already had a ride.
The gentleman introduced himself and we were off to his shuttle.
Off to the hotel.
Then he drives me through the city as we’re on the way to the hotel and I couldn’t believe my eyes…
Now, I’ve seen poverty before. Witnessed it first hand many a times, but Haiti was on a whole different level. One I’m not sure I can describe in words.
Trash is everywhere. Every building in the city is rundown — and that’s a nice way to put it. Nothing looks clean. Sure as sh*t isn’t modern.
People just meandering around in clothing that could only be described as rags, and I’m not saying that to hate or be rude. It’s just the reality in Haiti.
Hell, the shuttle driver even made me roll up my window to make it harder to see my pasty gringo skin. That didn’t exactly help me relax, either.
I get to my hotel and the place is somewhat of an oasis in the chaos. Tucked on a hillside with stunning views and an infinity pool — along with acceptable Wi-Fi speeds and some semblance of customer service.
I tell you all this not to spew out travel tips and tricks.
You’re not here for that.
I tell you this because we’re blessed. If you have a smartphone, computer, Wi-Fi, and don’t have to worry about being robbed every second of the day:
You are beyond blessed.
You have opportunity to do things that other people could only dream about. Sh*t that’s literally outside their realm of imagination. Tings’ that many of the Haitian people won’t ever have the chance to try.
I’m not an overly empathetic person normally, but one can only feel for the people here. Life in Haiti is more than rough around the edges. Sh*t seems downright difficult.
And it’s evident life is hard the moment you step off the plane.