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Monday, January 4, 2010

Haiti by Nite

We left Port-au-Prince at 7pm for the almost 3-hr trip to Jacmel on the southern coast of Haiti. The country suffers from frequent electrical shortages, and the city was very dark as we left. Informal vendors lined the streets with candles on their tables, sometimes with men gathered around the table in what I assume was a game of chance.

Most of the light on the street came from the headlights of other cars, gas stations with their own generators, and at some street corners huge spotlights with their own generators similar to what construction sites use in the States. When I tried to take a picture of one of these a guy standing alongside the road started to yell at me for taking a picture, even tho the camera was not pointed at him. Then our driver started to yell at me for taking a picture, even tho it was his fault we were driving at night.

BC said it was ok to drive to Jacmel at nite because the road was good, and by Haiti standards I suppose it was. The road wound up through the mountains separating Port-au-Prince from the southern coast, throwing us around the car as we cornered tightly around the curves. Fortunately there was almost no traffic--perhaps no one else is crazy enough to make this trip at nite. At one small town, people had gathered on the dark road for a party. I put on my headphones and tried to lose myself in catching up on news from FSRN, Democracy Now, and Tony's Buzz from last Thursday on WORT.

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