Tour of the city

Last Saturday, I walked around town with my two guides, Emmanuel and Maurice, a seventh and fourth grade boy. I didn’t realize quite how big Ouanaminthe is. We walked to another border crossing where there is a huge factory. In that neighborhood is where they also cut down trees to make charcoal and cut the river for a border crossing. I also passed by a cock fighting ring and a lot of gazebos where men gather to play dominos. The loser in dominos places a clothespin on his face. You’ll pass by men who appear to have green beards but are really just green plastic clothespins. We also passed by a chalkboard that had Italian cities written on it, Rome, Milan, Naples. Turns out that Haitains are a big fan of European soccer and have soccer movie theaters. Most of the tour was visiting other seventh graders. I also got a mix of reactions from people mostly based on whether they thought I was Dominican, Cuban, or American. If you’re a Dominican walking around Haiti with kids, you will get not so nice looks because a Dominican walking around with a kid is a Dominican walking around with a child servant. Another funny reaction was coming across babies. The moment I get in reach of two or three steps of a baby, they start screaming their heads off which usually results in laughter from the parents. All the other kids scream at the top of their lungs- Blan, Blan, Blan. I actually woke up the next day with what I thought was a kid yelling outside my window Blan, Blan but turned out to be the dog barking. The most exciting part of the walk was coming across a highschool volleyball game. Everyone get as close as possilbe to the boundaries, yelling, making grand gestures anytime there is a question of the ball being out. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay to see who won because it was getting late and the Sisters told me never to stay at the end of a game in case the losing team starts throwing rocks. It was nice to see more of the city even though the landscape doesn’t change much of cement houses, mango trees, kids playing in the dirt roads and people in line at the water pump, it has its own beauty and I never get tired of seeing new faces.


About biffy317

This blog is about my year in Haiti. I came here not speaking the language, not having a clear idea of what I will be doing to a small, impoverished country in the middle of a crisis. Haitians have A LOT of sayings and one of them is Piti gren fe gro pie bwa, which means a little seed makes a big tree. I hope that my time here will be fruitful and also to participate and observe as Haiti grows and flourishes as well. Seeds need a lot of time, a good foundation, and help from others to grow.
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