Hello everyone this is Jerry. One of the trio on this here trip to Haiti. I thought it would be a good idea to write tonight. Not only to give an idea to other folks how it's been going but to also put down some of my thoughts, observations and stories down before they all cram together and drift to the back of the mind as the past two days have been intense and I doubt they will get any less so. We arrived in Santo Domingo after an intense no sleep night packing up copious amounts of supplies to donate. After a good half hour of fumbling around trying to shift things in and out of bags to stay in the 50 lb. weight limit for baggage we made it through.
We found a great cabbie to take us downtown. The only way I can describe the driving is Dukes of Hazzard meets Richard Petty on cocaine. Everybody drives awsomely fast and wild. It's great. He haggled another great ride for us to the border on a bus crammed to the brim with people. The Haitian woman I sat next to gave me the chance to practice all that kreyol I've learned. Needless to say I have a long way to go. She was very nice though and we were able to do some very minor small talk. Journeying through the Dom. Rep. was really great.
Some of my observations were, a motorcycle parade, kids playing with toy cars made of oil cans, a bike race,lots of people jumping on the sides of the bus to sell oranges, croquetas,candy,water riding for a couple blocks selling and then jumping off, two chickens being butchered on the side walk, and a beautiful landscape. The only thing was the money handler who stood in the middle of the bus kept attempting to use Ivy's head as an arm rest and randomly staring people down and screaming. I don't know if he was really angry or just passionate about something. What was up with that dude?
The border was soooo intense. Lots of people wanting to carry your bags for a fee and grabbing your stuff. It was wierd because I have never traveled with so much stuff. Bags and bags of stuff. Almost none of which was mine, but for donations. But yeah I aint ever had to deal with keeping track of and transporting that much stuff. It took a Haitian-American named Hubert and his friend Sherline to argue with the passport and entrance fee personel to give us the normal rate and not triple because were United Statesians. Thanks to them. Hubert was from Virginia, my homestate. VA is for lovers and he proved it.
It would be inaccurate to say Maile has been our host as really her and her husband Andy's whole huge family has been great to us but she truly has been there for us on a maximum level. Picking us up from the border, showing us around town, getting us aquainted with the new faces, constant translations, and just all around teacher. Such an incredible lady, whom I already feel permanetly indebted too.
Well that brings us to getting to the border. Yesterday's experience more to come on the present and the future soon. I wish that I could really lay it all out there, all the feelings, stories and thoughts I have been experiencing but that may have to wait till another post/zine/phonecall. Take care all out there in the blogosphere. Hearts and Fists, Jerry