Monday, May 30, 2011


There are hardly any stores here in Port au Prince - and then not what we in North America call stores! People sell second hand things on a wooden table on the street like shoes or clothing, or they sell food and some very sad looking vegetables. I saw huge packages of wieners for sale in the blazing sun - I guess it is so processed that it doesn't go bad, or else people's intestines are immune. No refrigeration, and therefore very little meat, or any protein for that matter. Peanut butter is the main source of protein, and dehydration is a constant problem. There are huts that are called beauty stores on the main streets, but basically it is someone that cuts your hair (on the street) behind a curtain of sorts.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mail and Garbage

There is no such thing as mail service, and most streets, although they seem to have a name, only the natives know it. You cannot even mail a letter or care-package to people here - there is no service to deliver it. No street signs anywhere, and certainly no such things as traffic signs. The police drive faster than anyone - mostly because they don't have passengers. There no garbage cans to be seen, and things just end up on the street - thrown out food, plastic, papers, clothing etc. I did see a garbage truck yesterday, and what seems to happen is that there are two men who sweep up all the stuff on the street into a huge pile using brooms, and then they shovel it into the truck. I wonder how often it happens.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Getting around in Haiti

We take a tap-tap everywhere - so called, because there are no buses or bus stops in Port au Prince, and you bang twice on the truck when you want it to stop. These are small trucks, like a Toyota, or Nissan etc, and are about 30 years old. People pile into the back of the truck which has two plain wooden benches put in. If there is room in the back, these small trucks pick up anyone, anywhere, and just stop in the middle of the street to do this. I have been in many of them and all of them have big cracks across the windshields, likely from all of the potholes in the road. They have a cover over the back, and people try to get seats in the shade if they can, but it is just as hot inside especially when you are crammed in between other people. You get into the tap-taps by climbing over the bumper, and as many as 10-12 people are crammed in it, with some people just hanging on to the frame. There does seem to be an internal city grid system, because the tap-taps are area specific. If you want to go to another part of the city, you get off, pay the driver, and then find another one at the next meeting point.