Haiti Travel Stories, Page 7

How Much Will You Pay to Travel

If you could live anywhere, where would you live? I am annoyed living in Haiti, because an easy Hotel budget here is 50 dollars per day. I am paying 15 dollars per day. The cost of eating and transportation are about the same as the rest of the under-developed world. This is about 85 percent of the planet, and truly is the normal world.

The average tourist to Haiti will pays 1500 dollars rent per month, or 50 dollars per day. My monthly cost to live in Haiti is maybe 900. The tourist monthly cost is about 3000.

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti - Ayiti - Friday, November 27, 2009
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Many of you are realizing, you do not own your house. Moreover, because the houses in the USA are constructed from wood, the majority will fall apart in 50-100 years.

Can you pay 1500 dollars per month, and not own something? This is travel, I would say yes, you already do.

Would you pay 1500 dollars per month to live anywhere on the planet? This is the bargain I make every day of the week, when I start to pay over 15 dollars per day; I start to think about other countries where the quality of life is better. However, we need to be realistic, if I was earning 80,000 dollars per year; I would not be annoyed with a 25-30 dollars per day room rent.

If you earn:

10,000 - You will get annoyed paying over 5-8 dollars per day for Hotel.
35,000 - and 10-15 dollars per day will not annoy you.
50,000 and 20 dollars per day will not annoy you.
80,000 per year and 25-30 will not annoy you.
150,000 per year and you will not be annoyed.

The number one reason people cannot travel. They cannot save money. To save money, you must live on a budget. People do not live anywhere they want, they live where they find a husband or wife, the option to travel is removed because their mate refuses to leave home.

Did you answer the question? If you could live anywhere, where would you live? I truly hope the answer is right where you are now.

How Much Will You Pay to Travel


Thanksgiving in Haiti 2009

My day was great, I had a six slices of Turkey, and a can of Pinto Beans for Thanksgiving Dinner. Strangely, Haiti is the first country I have encountered where I see Turkeys regularly.



I took this Photo in the Orphanage, however I have seen many Turkeys in Haiti. It is a mystery to me; however, the world does not raise many Turkeys. Chickens are common, Quail Eggs are everywhere, however Turkeys are rare.

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti - Ayiti - Thursday, November 26, 2009
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I was excited, I saw this sign two days ago, and I thought it said,
The Turkey Bar Restaurant.”

Pavo is Turkey in Spanish, I thought this was a French Cognate, I am still confused. I think that looks like a Turkey, not a Chicken. I went in the restaurant, which is more of a casino, sat down and tried to order Pave. Well, they never came and waited on me, I watched men pull the handles on Keno Slot Machines for a while. Tried to figure out if the four women sitting by the door were take away, in the end, I was ignored in the typical Africa manner, so I left.



I walked over to the “Supermarket Piyay Nasyonal,” across the street from the Palace. An Italian guy owns it who calls himself Junior, and a Palestine man. I would say Junior is the best source of insider knowledge for Port-au-Prince a person could find.



I purchase .33 pounds of Turkey for 59.73 Gourde. At about 43 Gourde to the dollar, this Turkey cost about $4.50 US Per pound. There is a true mixture of cultures, the label is in English, however the pricing is Haitian Gourde, and the store has its name on the bottom. There are three prices in Haiti, the Haitian Dollar, which does not exist, however is normal, the Gourde, which is the money I have, and the USA dollar. When they tell me the price in USA Dollars, my answer 99 percent of the time is
“No Thanks.”
I am assured it is horrible value; I pay with the money of the country.



Another photo of the Pave Restaurant, that does not serve Turkey, but does have gambling machines inside.

I ended my day, by visiting the Hotel Oloffson, talking with a Lady who owns the Banana Restaurant on the Island of Nevis, and her male friend who is a Solicitor in England. We all agreed, Haiti does not feel dangerous. The Hotel Oloffson is another story. (First time I spoke English in two weeks.)

I often feel, I should never leave a city until I shown you the most important photos, I will make up my mind tomorrow morning. I probably will stay here in Port-au-Prince, the city center is convenient, and I can take Motos and Tap Tap easy. I believe I can go check out the city of Kenscoff.



10 Miles away, it will probably take 1-2 hours to get there by Tap Tap, I hope not, but the trip should be great. The trip goes from Sea Level to about 1500-1900 Meters.

Thanksgiving in Haiti 2009


Miami is more Violent than Haiti

Cultural diversity is dangerous. I am here in the center of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I have been walking around in the center of the city for a couple of days. The electricity here in the Executif Inn, located on Rue Lamarre goes off nightly at about 6:00 pm, and returns at 1-3 am. Every night at about 8-9, I walk down and sit in front of the building hoping to observe the prostitutes.



There are no prostitutes in front of my Hotel. Hmm, am I in the wrong country? Where are the violent gangs? I want to see that stereotypical view of Haiti, maybe I need to go to Miami.

There is no cultural diversity in this neighborhood, when I walk around with my friend Mathew, he says hello to everyone. They all scoot him off, because they know he is money grabber, he likes to drink. However, they say hello back, they treat him with respect, because is a neighbor, he lives up the street called Rue Borgella.

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti - Ayiti - Thursday, November 26, 2009
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What is Cultural Diversity?
First, it is dangerous.
Second, it is fun, and interesting.
Third, it is the big cities in the USA like Miami.
Fourth, there is little in Haiti.

Why does everyone preach “Cultural Diversity,” because it is needed in developed countries invaded by immigrants? Cultures must have respect for other cultures. We must not be cultural blind, we must allow other cultures to be different, or we will kill each other. Haiti is not a melting pot of cultures, people are leaving, and they are not coming.

Why does the Islamic World hate the USA.
Because they do not want the USA to bring in our tolerance for religion, race, sex, homosexual, lesbian, old, young, poor, rich, ugly, beautiful, short, tall, fat, skinny, Mexican, Cuban, Peruvian, Ecuador and Haitian.

I would say, this list describes Miami, it does not describe Haiti. There appears to be two classes of people here, the rich 5-10 percent and the other 90-95 percent.

The Islamic World wants Islamic law, not cultural diversity, more or less, they are saying,
“No immigrants.”

Where are the gangs in Haiti?
I would surmise, it is generally composed of the 90-95 percent of normal citizens. I believe they do not like being ruled by the 5 percent rich in Haiti. There has to be tension, the rich get richer, and poor stay on the bottom, there is no further down to go, with no opportunity unless they get involves with the government.

Where are the dangerous gangs in Haiti?
If you want to be rich in an underdeveloped country like Haiti: you need to become part of the Government, Police, Mayors, etc. then you have the ability to take money.
(There were 40 people killed in the Philippines, the same problem, but worst in the Philippines.)

So gangs form, people from the left, the right, the Republican, the Democrats, they all get in horrible fights for power. In the USA, the Republicans all vote no for Health Care, while all the Democrats for yes. Two large gangs are fighting with words in the USA. Here in Haiti, it is much more down to earth; they just put together a paid gang, and go kill the opposition. Sometimes, they need to call in the United Nations to keep them in power; this appears to be what is happening now. This country is full of United Nations Military, another huge gang who strives for control.

One of the first things I was told as a traveler,
“Do not talk about Politics or Religion.”

Well, if I heed that advice, and do not get involved in the government of Haiti, controlled by the rich and famous, then I am safe. I can just roam around freely with the 95 percent of people in Haiti that are not involved in the fight. If I associate with the rich, I suppose I would be hated.

The 95 percent of people in Haiti have no cultural diversity, they are all in the same class level, they are all black, nobody is radically different, and most people are the same.

Miami, wow, what a mess, a true melting pot of angry people, they came to the USA to get rich where the street are paved with gold. They did not want freedom, they wanted money. Well, mom is back home in Haiti, she is not watching, I do not know my neighbors….
“Why not, lets join a local gang,”
and take what we want, a complete breakdown of cultural norms. This is cultural diversity, and the reason we must teach tolerance.

I am enjoying my stay in Haiti; I like cultures with little or no cultural diversity. It is more enjoyable, easier to focus and learn one culture at a time. This is not Africa; there are no Tribal gangs, so life calmer than Africa.

Mafias run the world, and the governments are the biggest ones, you allow them to collect their money and they are happy. Try to stop it, get involved, then life is dangerous.

Miami is More Violent than Haiti


Haiti Super Insulated Pop Soda Cooler

They made a concrete container, insulated it with wood shaving, then inserted the cooling pipes into the water. They then insert the soft drinks into the liquid, which cools them very fast. Instead of having a large cooler, they super cools the drinks fast.

Pretty good Haiti, great idea.

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti - Ayiti - Wednesday, November 25, 2009
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Haiti Super Insulated Pop Soda Cooler


Port au Prince Haiti Palace

The Palace in the center of Port-au-Prince is majestic, one of the nicer presentation I have encountered. Too bad I am the only Tourist I have seen.



Palace, I believe this is in the Champs de Mar Park, but not positive.

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti - Ayiti - Wednesday, November 25, 2009
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Port au Prince Haiti Palace


Travel Writers Save Face

Can a writer explain a travel destination they have never visited? The answer is,
“Yes.”

There is enough information available to write a guidebook, and never visit the country.

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti - Ayiti - Wednesday, November 25, 2009
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Why does this work?
1. Only 1 in a 1000 of the readers will go to the travel destination.
2. If 999 people out of 1000 like an article, it is good, reality is not important.
3. 999 readers are reading for entertainment.
4. 1 person in a 1000 is going to use the advice in the country.

I am the 1 in 1000 person who actually uses the advice, this is one reason I get on my pedestal and start screaming occasionally.

Travel Writers Do Their Best
I believe 25 percent of travel writers genuinely do their best to provide accurate information. The travel writer of the Lonely Planet Haiti did a great job of explaining the country. However, we travel on different budgets, he was on a middle, to upper price level budget, and I am on a Backpacker budget.

75 percent write what you want to hear, herein lies our problem, reality takes a backseat, and entertainment takes a front seat. Then to make matters worse, “Churnalism,” comes into play.

Churn the Information
Other Travel Writers read the article, rewrite it, or paraphrase it into their own words, and what was just good entertainment starts to become the standard opinions. Because it was well written, a groupthink overwhelms the travel writers and writers.

I am here in Haiti, I would say there is so little correlation between what you read, what you watch on television, what the news reports and reality, it is amazing. However, I am fully aware that readers feel compelled to trust the majority. There is a consensus; therefore, to be safe, we will go along with the group.

How do Travel Writers save Face?
By agreeing with the group, by being part of the group, by not setting themselves apart from the group. They write articles that are entertaining; just want the reader wanted to read.

What a great gig, a Travel Writer can write anything, tells a great story, and the chances are only 1 in a 1000 will complain if the article is entertaining, plausible and fulfills the expectation of readers.

What percentage of travel article was written by a person who never went to the place?

Travel Writers Save Face


Port au Prince Tap Tap Video

As I arrived in Port-au-Prince, I got on a Tap Tap, the local public transportation. I decided to record a video, the music was so loud, I could not introduce myself. The video is interesting, the music completely blocked out the road noise.

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti - Ayiti - Tuesday, November 24, 2009
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Turn up the volume, turn up the chaos, the world gets a visceral rush by music, nothing intellectual about it.

Port-au-Prince Tap Tap Video


Haiti Sweets Dous Macoss or Makos

Photos of a sweet candy sold in Haiti. One of the many reasons I stopped in Petit-Goave for three nights was to find Dous Macoss. I never found them, even though the Lonely Planet guidebook said they sold them in every shop, I must have had my blinders on.

When I exchanged buses at Leogane on the way to Port-au-Prince, I spied this boy holding a big bundle of what looks like saltwater taffy.



I pushed my money out the window, paid 25 Gourde for a small piece, probably paid too much, however, I was in a hurry. Then the boy decides to be a tourist, he wanted to look at a foreigner, he came on the bus, then I was lucky and he posed for a photo.

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti - Ayiti - Monday, November 23, 2009
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The LP writer calls this Dous Macoss, but there are probably many types. “Dous,” means sweet in some language, I am not sure, maybe Creole or French, nonetheless it means sweet.

I request a rather educated man, the one looking over the right shoulder of the sale boy above to write down the name, he wrote,
“Makos,”
With the accent on the o, which tends to mess up on internet pages.

The Creole language has to be the most pigeon language on the planet, I feel there is little agreement on spelling, more or less sound it out, and that works. They do not speak French, often want to speak Spanish with me, but in the end, we understand each other.



Not sure how they made it, however it was not complicated. Maybe they mixed up sugar and some flour, if lucky some milk, but I think not. Then made into a dough, made a square, then cut off slices. It is good, I see many people carrying sweets on their heads, mostly something with peanuts in it, they do not look delicious, and so I have not tried.

This is very powdered sugar like in texture, it crumbles easy.

I paid 25 Gourde, anyone know the correct price?

Haiti Sweets Dous Macoss or Makos