It is now two days after I entered Haiti, sometimes I live by just my instincts and wit, at the conscious level I am not sure what I am doing, it take a couple of days to realize what happened.
I walked up to Jasmine in the Fort Lauderdale, Airport and opened a conversations, I had two goals.
1. Find my first Hotel in Haiti, and approximate price in Port-au-Prince.
2. Learn what is the best form of transportation from the Airport to a Hotel.
Léogane, Haiti - Thursday, Friday, November 6, 2009
18 751098E - 2047382N
Jasmine was animated, she is passionate, full of energy, sort of rat-a-tat-tat person, it was I was going to be fed to the Haitian Lions. I was not too concerned about the Taxis; I knew I had time on my side and the ability to say no to anyone on the planet. I knew all I had to do was continue to say no to everyone and anyone until an acceptable person and offer crossed in front of me.
Jasmine did not know much about Hotels in Port-au-Prince, but she did know how to find an ATM machines in Haiti. I know she was right; I also needed to hunt for money. I suppose my priorities should have been,
2. Choose first target Hotel.
3. Find transportation from airport to the target Hotel.
I was not having any luck with the Lonely Planet, all the hotels appeared to start at about 35 US dollars and I have a target budget for Haiti of 10 Dollars per night. This is an average, not a hard coded price, if I live for free for four nights, I could opt to pay 50 for one night, but the average needs to come in around 10 Dollars U.S.
Jasmine explained the Haitian money, gave me here telephone number, email and was willing to commit herself to talking with me, and offered help. She told me of a room for 10 dollars she knew of about five miles from her home for children. She said,
“Let me talk to my husband.”
I would say, or guess or think she was sizing me up, trying to decide what to do with me, when we got of the plane, she introduced me to her husband, and they talked, and then decided to invite me to their home for children. While walking off the plane, I also met an oriental looking man by the name of Jay, a Doctor from the USA, he said,
“You are not taking a taxi from the airport.”
Hmm, this is highly unusual, and the Lonely Planet said the tax price was 20 dollars, I had already made up my mind to take a Tap Tap, the local public transportation that was to cost about 15 cents U.S. The taxi was off the list because of being too high priced, however, this comment, you are not taking a taxi was intriguing to me, this was too committal people do not force help on you.
People are Picked Up at Haiti Airport
I would guestimate that about 98 percent of tourist, travelers, missionaries or whatnot who visit Haiti are met at the airport, very few people are taking taxis or tap taps. The Port-au-Prince airport was clean, happy, organized and easy, and I said thanks to Jay and took a ride with Greg and Jasmine to the SongeBank to use my ATM card.
The transmission stopped working, there was third and fourth gear, but truly the only way it was out of gear was when the clutch was pressed. This is the SongeBank in Port-au-Prince that has an ATM machine; I believe as of November 2009 that SongeBank may be the only bank in the country that has ATM machines.
Greg and Jasmine waiting for another car to come and tow us to a mechanic.
Many United Nations vehicles passed by while we waited for the mechanic to come.
This is Rosy, a 16-year-old girl who lives in the house of Jasmine and Greg, with the other 35-40 children.
I took a video of us getting towed to the Mechanic, I am trying to upload it to YouTube.com, but the Digitel Flash chip connection in the Orphanage signal continues to break, I will try again at 3:00 tomorrow to see if I can get it up, then show you the rest of the story.
It has been a bad day in the house, after having a blocked toilet in the lower area of the house; they finally broke the floor and found the septic tank. It is full and needs cleaning, they were quite frustrated; the plumber said he could get it pumped for 500 dollars. What can you say, this is nuts, but what can they do, they have 35 children and they need this toilet to work.
Welcome Haiti, where the locals will ask a White Man 500 Dollars for a 50 dollar job, for a home full of Haitian orphans.
I do not know what to say, they live by donations of Churches, people and the good will of the world. I suppose there are two camps of orphanages, the ones that are great at raising money and ignore the children, and the ones that love the children and are not good at raising the money.
I think they need the money, I am told they have a paypal.com link on their site; somebody needs to go and click it today. If you click on mine, I will also give them the money.
What do they do, they take in malnutrition, ready-to-die children, and feed them and love them until they have a life again, snatching them before death does.
Haiti Airport Orphanage Transportation
I landed in Port-au-Prince, Haiti yesterday and now I am in the city of Léogane, Haiti located about 20 miles West of Port-au-Prince. Greg and Jasmine took me under their wing at the airport, I felt like a true Hobo. They brought me to their home where they feed, cloth and care for up to 40 children, I think there is about 35 small ones in the home right now, plus one extra large American boy called Andre en French.
I initially was planning on traveling immediately for Port Salut, but landed here in Léogane in an interesting home away from home situation, I had a fried egg for breakfast, cooked by Jasmine a French Canadian married to Greg from California running this group home for children.
Léogane, Haiti - Thursday, November 5, 2009
18 751098E - 2047382N
I have been fully engaged in the lives of small children for the last 24 hours, it is truly refreshing to see so many children in one location. They tend to line up to get hugs, one after another, waiting in their turn. The shy ones come up close, edging ever closer, the slowly I put my large arms around them and bring them in, giving them something they need, or maybe I needed this.
A serendipitous situation brought me here, I tend to believe these children will help me.
Map to Léogane Haiti and a Hobo
I am in an Orphanage West of Port au Prince 20 miles. I received three car offers on the plane. The foreighners were worried about me because I had no plan.
Why plan,they always change?
I have have hugged, held, and got to understand more children in one day than in the whole last year. They lined up to hug when we arrived at orphanage.
This is a good, real, and needed orphanage.
No electricity now I am on an HTC Touch Pro 2 that uses the Verizon Global data plan.
It is 1:19 am, jetlag is still doing is job on me.