Hello from Haiti. It’s really not that far of a trip from DC. We’re in the same time zone right now, but it’s a world away. Here are some random first impressions.
- We are really happy with our house. I love the bright, open floor plan. When the pool gets up and running, I think we’ll love spending lazy weekends having friends over for a BBQ or a swim. Believe it or not, I also love the couches! The couches and chairs are a happy shade of bright green. It’s perfect for a white-tiled house in a tropical country. Unlike our house in Managua, no slip-covers needed!
- We’re not alone. Of course we knew there would be guards at our house. But what I wasn’t expecting was the other occupants: cockroaches and chickens! After two different bug sprays and two different roach motel contraptions, I think we might have got the roach problem under control. But these things are HUGE. Also, there is a mama chicken and a teenager chicken that hang out in our yard. When my husband asked the guard who they belonged to, the guard said he thought they belonged to us. The chicken ownership mystery is still unsolved.
- The traffic situation is intense. We’ve learned a new word: blokis. Essentially, traffic jam. So far we haven’t been stuck in any major blokis yet, but it’s just a matter of time. I am already developing strong feelings on the driving/traffic situation here. I’m sure those opinions will get stronger once we get our car and start driving ourselves. Stay tuned, and in the meantime, enjoy this excellent Haitian rap video entitled Blokis.
- You can get everything here, but you have to pay for it. I was shocked by the wide variety of products available at the grocery store. Things like organic skim milk, specialty asian curries and sauces, fresh herbs, even blueberries. But they are MUCH more expensive than in the States. It’s nice to know I have the option of getting those things if I absolutely need something for a recipe, but I also need to be careful to not accidentally spend $11 on red bell peppers imported from Holland. Oops.
Overall, we’ve had a great beginning here in Haiti. I’m glad to be putting the French and Creole I’ve learned in to practice, although I’m pretty sure my Creole is going to completely take over in the next few weeks. Everyone has been really helpful, and I think we’re going to have a good tour.
Now, if only we could find out whose chicken that is…