Haiti Travel Stories, Page 10

Haiti Market Video in Les Cayes

A walk through the Les Cayes, Haiti Market. A little difficult to do because people are not fond of camera in their face in Haiti.
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Les Cayes or Aux Cayes, Haiti - Ayiti - Monday, November 16, 2009
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Haiti Market Video in Les Cayes


Hotel Room Strobe Light Travel Tip

There are strobe lights in hotel room. When a fan is installed right below the ceiling light it creates annoying flashes of light. Here are some photos and a video.



My solution is to carry a light that clamps onto the bed.

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Les Cayes or Aux Cayes, Haiti - Ayiti - Monday, November 16, 2009
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The management probably installed the ceiling fan after the light, and hooked onto the existing electricity. Another of the many reasons a floor fan is better than a ceiling fan in Hotel room.

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Hotel Room Strobe Light Travel Tip


Bags of Water Travel Tips

Cheap water comes in bags. The locals normally drink water from plastic bags; it is the most economical way of purchasing water, in Haiti you can buy it cold. I often go snooping around in fridges in expensive tourist area for the hidden bags of water the locals drink. Shops will hide them from the tourist in favor or selling expensive bottled water.



This little Haitian boy is demonstrating.

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Les Cayes or Aux Cayes, Haiti - Ayiti - Sunday, November 15, 2009
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I get 2-3 bags for five Gourde; this is about eight cents U.S.



You chew away a corner of the bag, squeeze it and the water flows into mouth, it is probably healthier because there is no air swallowed.

Bags of Water Travel Tip


What do you want me to do in Haiti

I am in Haiti, I have adjusted to Haiti … what do you want me to do?



Travel Blogs aspire to be somebody, to be a something, to be more than just one person rambling about his or her vacation. This is a new experiment; readers’ voting to send me to countries is a new theme for Travel Blogs. I can allow readers to choose my country and possible itineraries; this is a new twist of fate.

Travel is one of the most selfish, self-centered, self-absorbed things to do on the planet, we do it alone, and all the decisions are made by me, you do not have any say in the matter, that is until now, I am giving readers the right to tell me what to do, better than normal for a Travel Blog.

I am in Haiti, the first country readers chose for me by popular vote, but I also want to know what readers want that did not vote for Haiti

Two readers made recent comments, one was clear,
Emmy said,
“Hurry up and get kidnapped already !”

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Les Cayes or Aux Cayes, Haiti - Ayiti - Sunday, November 15, 2009
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I have one reader, who visited Haiti 50 years ago,

Robin wrote: (Edited a little for clarity.)

“Dear Andy,
It seems you have failed to find any of the uninhibited joy that I experienced on that magic island 50 years ago, consequently resorting to a Blog of ations.
At aged 15 I read....

Home keeping youths have ever homely wits,
I rather would entreat thy company to see the wonders of the world abroad
Than, living slugardized at home, wear out thy youth in shapeless idleness

Unfortunately, it now seems I must follow your advice and forget about a return Trip.
How long are you planning to stay? Maybe there is hope on the horizon. Try Jacmel or the Cap.
Best wishes, Robin.”

Notes on readers comments from first poll
(Extremely edited.)

Emmy Die in a fire. or Haiti.

Eva Patterson It would be a greater benefit to all travellers if you went. (and wrote) on Haiti. I'd like to go there too, but would be stronger in my conviction if I knew you'd gone before.

Chris Davis It’s a great country, you can travel cheap by staying away from UN and NGO shit... people are friendly, the beaches are beautiful and so are the girls...

Charlie It seems right now to be an exciting place for Andy. Very few people have traveled to Haiti. It will be interesting to read Andy's reactions to the people and places in Haiti.

Ciara I was born In Haiti. Now is not so bad as before. Go to the mountains it is actually cold at night there and beautiful.

Nancy Jones, Boston Why Not ? You have been to Iraq. How bad could Haiti Be?

Linda I would like to see a real report from there and not one doing charity work or NGO work.

Isaac Scheib A lot of witchcraft and voodooism there and would be interesting to find out what thats like?

http://www.haitisurf.com/vaudou.shtml that site gives some information on it.. a number for a voodoo priest even. If your up for it :p

OverlandGirl
I think the timing is right to go now....before tourism sets in too heavily and makes visiting unpleasant.

Thank you again for the all the postings. It's one of the few things that keeps my travel lust alive through the many months I'm tied to my regular office job.

Dave I never heard of anyone going to Haiti for fun

My Notes:

1. Kidnap
- This is not likely, unless I go stay in Five Star Hotels.
2. Uninhibited Joy
- I want to know what specifically you experienced Robin.
3. Die in Fire
- I suppose this would make more reader read.
4. Benefit to all travellers.
- I try to give transportation, hotel cost, then access the danger levels, then other travelers could decide whether to go.
5. Cheap by staying away from UN and NGO.
Beaches are beautiful and so are the girls.
- I agree with this advice on staying away from UN or NGO places, which is truthfully the major beaches.
6. Report from person not one doing charity work or NGO work
- Yes, perfect, there are tons of lies told by the UN and NGO so they get support and money.
7. Witchcraft and voodooism.
- I am trying to figure this one out, messing around with religions or politics are dangerous.
8. Before tourism sets in too heavily and makes visiting unpleasant.
- I do not see this happening for at least 20-30 years after 2009, not until the road in and out of Port-au-Prince do not give you a great tour of slums.
9. I never heard of anyone going to Haiti for fun
- This is more or less directed at a person that goes on vacation, not for me a traveler who enjoys being uncomfortable and in challenging locations. Vacations are for relaxation, I went to the Philippines to relax, but I came to Haiti to give me reasons to live, reason to exist and to do my job as a person who writes about travel. On the other hand this is correct, I

What do You Want me to do in Haiti


Short Writing Pen Travel Tip

I found a great pen for travel in the Philippines, however I lose or break about two pens per month and I am down to my last one.



I recommend you purchase extra short pens if possible, a person needs a black ink pen to fill out immigration and customs forms.

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Les Cayes or Aux Cayes, Haiti - Ayiti - Saturday, November 14, 2009
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I put pens in my pants pocket, in my front backpack, in many places, the longer ones tend to break. Sometimes they come unscrewed and I find only pieces scattered around.

If possible, buy pens in the USA or Europe; I think the qualities of pens are better. A cheap pen can explode ink and destroy your clothes.

Short Writing Pen Travel Tip


When were the Glory Days of Haiti Ayiti

The architecture of a city can tell me when the people were smiling. I believe there are “glory days” for buildings in a city and the culture of the people who built them.



This is a church located in an older glory days of the city of Les Cayes, Haiti. Behind this church, more or less surrounding this church is the city market; there is one large building where inside is sold fresh fruits and vegetables.

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Les Cayes or Aux Cayes, Haiti - Ayiti - Saturday, November 14, 2009
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I know we all think we are pretty smart, that we know about the world, however in reality the glory days of specific cities and cultures change. In the small span of the 12 years time, I have been traveling the economy of Ireland called the Celtic Tiger leaped into its Glory Days, rolled over, and fell asleep.

The world changes, right now Haiti is the poster child for poverty and economic woes, a Nation occupied by the United Nations, however there were glory days.

Glory Days of Les Cayes
Did you know that Christopher Columbus visited this island on his first trip, and Simón Bolívar came to Les Cayes, Haiti to stock up to go liberate countries in South America or be a land pirate in my view. Les Cayes is birthplace of American naturalist John James Audubon. Henry Morgan the Pirate used the Ile a Vache off the coast of Les Cayes as a base. President Lincoln experimented with sending emancipated slaves here.

The word OK is suppose to have originated from “Aux Cayes,” mean the rum was OK.

There was a day when movie stars came to Haiti to bask in the sun, somehow, somewhere current events creates an indelible image in our simple minds that stops us from understanding the world. Travel enables us to be time travelers, to see yesterday, today and tomorrow.

When were the Glory Days of Haiti - Ayiti


Persistent Frog in Haiti Hotel Room

I woke up, went into the restroom of my Hotel here in Les Cayes, Haiti, there is no light bulb in the ceiling, so the room is dark, however I still spied this frog on the wall.



A close up of the frog who wants to share my room.

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Les Cayes or Aux Cayes, Haiti - Friday, November 13, 2009
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I took this photo in the dark, the flash worked well enough; I thought I might as well take photos as I figured how to kick the frog out of my room. Normally, I just smack animals, insects and other critters with the bottom of my shoe, but this frog was too big, too much guts and glory. I went back and worked on my computer for a while.



It was time to take a shower, I was sort of hoping the frog went out the hole it came in, but I was wrong, it was hugging the nozzle to the shower. I am standing their naked, looking at a frog in my shower.



I am quite sure many of you think carrying a bucket is silly, however I use this bucket made out of the bottom of five-gallon vegetable oil container for so many things, I just could not live without it. Now, I can add, capturing and removing animals to the list of uses, I took my Lonely Planet and pushed the frog into the bucket.



This frog was lethargic, maybe it was still asleep, I am not sure, but it would not scamper out of the bucket, it just refused to hop away.



What does one do with a frog after one captures a frog?

I wrapped my new green towel; truly tacky looking around my waist took a walk to the back balcony of the Patience Hotel and dumped the bucket down with a bump. Ok, I thought that would scare the frog into leaving, nope, it just sat, maybe it is a vain frog, it just posed in so many positions for the camera. It is now time to stop standing around on the balcony in only a towel, everyone looks at the Blanc normally, I am sure they are loving the towel routine.



On the wall, on the shower nozzle, in the bucket, on the floor, this frog was persistent, I was worried it would be hopping all over my room, get under the bed, and cause me problem, instead it is the perfect frog model.

When a person is gathering up animals in a room, the floating thought always cross your mind,
“I heard there are poisonous frogs.”

Persistent Frog in Haiti Hotel Room


Travel Improves Social Status of Hobos

A reader commented,
“It looks tacky, but it works!”
(Referring to me marking up my backpacks in previous post.)

A balanced comment, which weighs function against form, and the exclamation mark, tells me function won the race.

This comment causes a rumbling in my soul, and disruption of my rhythm, I felt amiss for a minute or two and had a caesura in my life. I went searching through my Encarta Encyclopedia for quotations about “Social Status.” Sometimes a twisted quotation will give me clarity, and help me to explain to myself, what I already know.

I thought this quote:

“Welcome to the wrong side of the tracks.”
- Angela Carter (1940 - 1992)
- British novelist, essayist, and short-story writer.
- Wise Children

I wanted to explain this:

“They say princes learn no art truly, but the art of horsemanship. The reason is, the brave beast is no flatterer. He will throw a prince as soon as his groom.”
- Ben Jonson (1572 - 1637)
- English playwright and poet.
- Timber, or, Discoveries Made upon Men and Matter

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Les Cayes or Aux Cayes, Haiti - Friday, November 13, 2009
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How I started caring about social status.
“Tom and his younger brothers as they grew up, went on playing with the village boys without the idea of equality or inequality (except in wrestling, running, and climbing) ever entering their heads, as it doesn't till it's put here by Jack Nastys or fine ladies' maids”
- Thomas Hughes (1822 - 1896)
- British writer.
- Tom Brown's Schooldays

Hobo signs of social status in the class struggle of life.

“Money can't buy friends, but you can get a better class of enemy.”
- Spike Milligan (1918 - 2002)
- Indian-born British humorist, writer, and actor.
- Puckoon

I remember a reader writing me to say his University Professor was telling the class that Andy of HoboTraveler.com was mentally ill… maybe self-absorbed. I wrote back and said,
“Tell your professor Thanks for talking about me in class.”

I have learned along the way that few people love to travel, but most people love to return home and say to their friends,
“I went to the Caribbean, look at my photos.”

Somewhere, somehow, I will one day wrap my mind around this problem of social status and how it relates to travel. I continue to observe people willing to pay a months salary for one night in a Five Star Resort, it is not tacky, and however, I am sure it does not work. I tend to believe, the last thing people want to know or read about is that a Hobo stayed in the same city, at the same tourist destination.

Travel Improves Social Status for Hobos