Sunday, 11 September 2016

Saturday Photo: From Haiti, with Love

Something like 45 years ago I took my first trip outside the North American continent when my sister and her husband invited me to go with them to Haiti.  He had some business to do, and she wanted company.

It was a life changing trip for me.  They were not ones for venturing outside the hotel compound until mid day, but I decided I couldn't let the opportunity go to waste.  So I got when the church bells chimed at 5 a.m. and went exploring.  My reasoning was the the people out and about at that time were solid citizens, so a gringo lady would be safe. 

I was.  The experience was very rewarding, since I got to talk to people going to work, school and market, and could observe them going about their daily lives.  Since then I've refined the method a little: I don't talk to men ordinarily but greet all women with a smile.  But during the many miles I've notched up since then, not once did I come back with anything but positive impressions of the basic kindness of people, even though their circumstance may be difficult.

This is a painting that I bought on that trip, one of the many, many primitive works being sold to tourists then.  Love the mixture of colour and somberness.  Haiti has been on my mind the last few weeks as I finish up my next book, about unidentical twins, that is States and states that have much in common yet are very different.  One of the pairs is that of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, but more about that later.

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