Eight students. Two professors. One incredible journey.
This morning at 3 am, MCLA students and professors left the frigid New England weather for the warm, tropical paradise of Haiti. After successfully passing through security, checking into our flight at the Newark Airport, and meeting Amy Poehler (the American comedian/actress was on our flight!) we jet setted off into the unknown. Many of the students, like myself, have never been to the country pegged as "the poorest country in the western hemisphere."
While eating a meal provided by the airplane (I was pleasantly surprised that we were even served food!), I looked out my window. The view of Haiti from above is incredible. As I looked down onto the island of Hispaniola, I was taken aback by the beauty of the mountains and the crysal clear, turquoise water that was blue as a robin’s egg. Due to the huge issue of deforestation, the mountains were bare. They seemed out of place against the lush forest on the Dominican Republic side of Hispaniola. As we landed, we were welcomed by a Haitian band, palm trees, and warm air. I knew from that moment that this was going to be an exciting trip.
Staying close together, the group made our way through the throngs of welcomers outside the airport to meet our driver for the week. After we loaded our luggage into the van, we were whisked up and down the long, windy Haitian roads to the Karibe Hotel. Outside the van window, we were mesmerized by the activity that was among us; people selling items along the street, countless murals splayed on broken walls, herds of people crammed into brightly colored open ended trucks. My eyes were absorbing every single moment; it felt so surreal.
The Karibe Hotel is beautiful, with a giant lit Christmas tree welcoming the tired travelers to our humble abode. I thought it was interesting to see Christmas decorations sprinkled around Haiti; it didn’t even cross my mind that Christmas was celebrated here. The hotel has a pool, restaurant, and gorgeous rooftop view of the countryside. After settling in, we went grocery shopping at the market and ate dinner at the hotel restaurant. (The imported goods at the market were extremely expensive.) During our dinner, we ate a variety of foods, including pumpkin soup and goat!
After a long day, the group is ready for a well deserved night of sleep and is looking forward to what tomorrow will bring.
Posted by BCRC Admin on 01/02 at 09:48 PM