By Heather O.
One of the reasons the fishing village was so beautiful was that I finally escaped from the trash. The trash here is everywhere. You can’t get away from it. There is virtually no waste collection system, as far as I can tell, and the trash piles up on the ground, in the street, all over. The only response to it that I’ve seen is to pile it up and burn it, which they seem to do in the evening or night. The result is an eye stinging, throat choking haze that makes me wonder if Haitians have forgotten what fresh air smells like.
But a solution? Beats the heck out of me. Dh has mentioned that there are complicated laws that govern the trash collection in the united states. The only law I’ve seen enforced here is that you should honk as you approach an intersection so that pedestrians can get out of your way. That is not hyperbole, by the way. The only thing more insane than the trash is the traffice.
Yesterday we rode a tap-tap, another mode of public transportation. Picture a pick up truck with benches along either side of the bed, and a domed roof arching over it. Add some crazy colors, some foot holds and side rails, and you get the idea. Comfortably a tap tap can fit probably 10 adults. Yesterday, we drove 20 minutes to the coast packed in with 18 people, and various people hopping on and off the sides as we drove. At one point, I’m pretty sure there were 22 people being transported in a vehicle the size of a Ford Ranger.
As I tried to calm myself against the growing wave of claustophobia, I prayed that we wouldn’t crash. Then, we when we forged a river (again, NOT hyperbole), I couldn’t decide if I should shut my eyes and pray harder, or open them to meet my doom. Luckily, we were fine.
I have more to write, about moving rubble and theories about how best to help Haiti (yes, I wielded a sledgehammer yesterday. A machete AND a sledgehammer in one week. Awesome.), but there are more people waiting for the internet, and we’re not sure how much more power we will have. We are writing from the church’s chapel, more or less, where they have turned on the power and where there is a wireless connection. Our own power at our house has been more or less permanently severed, as a wire was cut by a guy who was climbing a tree hunting coconuts.
Again, not hyperbole. You can’t make this stuff up.
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