A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go on vacation to Haiti. I cannot express to you how wonderful and beautiful the country is. Over the next couple of blog posts I will take you through my travels of Haiti though photos and the art I have been inspired to create. I hope it excites you as much as it has excited me. Come with me on this journey through Haiti Cherie.
Our first stop was in Port-Au-Prince. On my very first visit to Haiti I was 13 or 14 years old. All the Haitian inspired art I have created was based on those memories years ago. Now that I am older and more aware of my surroundings I was anxious to discover, if being in the country creating new experiences, would inspire me to create more touching art. As I said before I started drawing the women because they were the most iconic symbol of Haiti that stood out in my mind.
Upon entering the country again I see why this memory stood out. There were men and women EVERYWHERE carrying goods on their heads and in large baskets. Everywhere! And in every town. On the first visit I remember going to a market place to purchase items. Now it seems as if every corner is a market place. They sell everything from shoes to fruit. There are regular supermarkets but a lot of the vendors are on the street. The first visit I remembered there being lots of people and it is still the same today. In Port-Au-Prince the streets were packed with SUV’s, motorcycles and lots of people carrying on their everyday tasks and selling goods. They sold just about everything you can think of.
As an artist I noticed all the beautiful hand painted signs and advertisements. The businesses also had hand painted lettering and murals.
From the first visit I remember a lot of brightly colored buildings and taxi’s. There weren’t as many as before. A lot of the area where we were was under construction. I could see cracks in some of the buildings still from the earthquake’s aftermath.
The people are resilient and were still surviving in spite of the setbacks. They also have an incredible work ethic. When we would leave early in the morning for a new destination people were already setting up their shops. Some people had begun well before sunrise! And when we would return at night they would still be there or closing down after the sun set. I’ve heard some of the vendors say when you purchase our goods we can feed our families. So of course we purchased items and souvenirs to take home.
When we arrived at the home we stayed at on my first visit I noticed an immediate change. The trees had grown up and obscured the mountain views I remembered and loved. I had to go on top of the roof to get a clear view. There are mountains everywhere. I wonder if the natives understand what beautiful scenery they have or if they take it for granted.
And what can I say about the food? Mouthwatering fresh fruits and vegetables, rice, beans, and fresh fish, chicken and goat for the meat eaters. Mmmmmmm, mmmmm good. I ate waaaaay to much. And when you say you have had enough 2 or 3 spoonfuls are added to your plate!
Our second and third stops were Les Cayes and Port-Salut, but I will talk about those adventures on the next post.
I’ve never felt such a since of belonging in my life. It was wonderful to see a sea of people that had faces my color and hue. I feel like my love for Haiti has grown like a tree’s roots dig deeper in the earth. I can’t wait to share more of my journey with you.
Thanks for reading,