Everyone on my plane was crying. Tears in their eyes. Even the men. Especially the men, as we glided serenely past the lush, bright, vibrant Dominican Republic and into the dusty, brown, tired, overworked landscape of Haiti.
The difference between the two at 10,000 feet is startling.
Later, I walked near an open air farmers market. And rode several times past Cite Soleil. No text book or anecdote could ever come close to teaching me about the slave trade in quite the same way. Seeing tin shacks. Seeing the crystal blue Carribbean waters mucked brown with human feces. Seeing dusty roads full of people bathing right in the street without any privacy at all except perhaps wet underwear or shorts. Seeing some of the most beautiful faces I have ever laid eyes on trapped in dead end communities.
Seeing all that showed me what life must have been like under the rule of Europe, slaves imported to work like dogs in sugar, tobacco and cotton plantations and factories. Just walking in Haiti, let alone working, brings forth sweat. I could understand how Haiti came to be.
The first successful slave revolt nation. The only slave revolt nation. Somehow frozen in time. Like an archeological excavation on Pause.
Its a living history lesson.
Stretching so far into every facet of life. Agriculture. Architecture. Government. Politics. Sociology. Art. Culture. Way of life. Means of life. Geology. Numerology. War. Peace. Love.
I was only in Haiti for 72 hours this time. And everytime I leave, tears stream down my face. I hate to leave Haiti. Despite everything that you must endure while in Haiti, it is quite possibly the most beautiful place in the world. Ready to inspire you with its frankness. Its openness. Its people. And its lessons. -MS