Saturday, April 28, 2012


"One must do things sometimes to make life more bearable." -St Teresa of Avila

Catholic Church

The Citadelle- a staircase that led... nowhere.

This past week I had the privilege of observing Nurse Spring Break. I have not had more than a weekend off since I've been here, so Keziah and I decided to take some rest time. Last Saturday, we boarded a taptap and headed to Cap Haitien. Pre-revolution, Cap Haitien was the capitol of Saint-Domingue. So it's a place in Haiti that is full of history- surrounding King Christophe, the French, the revolution and the Citadelle. Our first day was spent walking through a city that looked so different than any I'd seen in Haiti. Old buildings, a spectacular Catholic Church, quiet streets, beach fronts that did not have copious amounts of trash, and U.N. staff in street clothes walking around the city. So odd it was a little eerie. We stayed at a hotel with air conditioning, hot-ish showers, and a pool! I have been battling Haitian Happiness (AKA stomach sickness) for a week, and, the first night, Keziah joined the club. So one full day we watched movies in the AC, swam at the pool, and read.

Our only other full day we determined was to be devoted to getting to the Citadelle. So we got up, ate breakfast, and taptaped out to Milot. Now, getting up to the Citadelle is climbing a mountain. So, in our wisdom, we decided to hike up the mountain (instead of taking a moto, donkey, horse, or 4-wheeler). After being sick. We get about an hour in and realize this was foolishness. So we hop on a moto, that promptly breaks. So we hike on. And on. Once we hit the actual trail, we are now hiking inside a cloud. I turn to Keziah and we have a conversation about how this is the part in the horror movie where you are yelling at the actors to turn around, idiots. And yet they keep walking. So on we walk. The rest of the story involves getting to the Citadelle, walking through it with no visibility (we are inside a stinkin' cloud, and then it starts to rain. So we walk down the mountain getting poured on, trying not to slip down the rocky road. And on the way back to the hotel, we stop and pick up some Cipro- because now it's just time for drugs to stop the stomach madness. It rains the rest of the night and we have a hot shower and drink hot chocolate. It is the first time I've been really cold since being in Haiti. 

While all of this sounds miserable, it was so nice to have a break. To step away and breathe deeply. To travel to a place that is lush and green. To eat good food (despite my stomach being angry). To stay in bed for half a day and not sweat. To swim in water that does not have trash. To travel and see a whole new part of this country we live in. A part of Haiti that is so very different than Gonaives. So different from Jubilee. 
Oh yeah- we did manage to have some fun!

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