Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Dan and I took another trip to Léogane on Friday to accompany Missy as she checked her mail. We waited along the highway for 2 hours, but all of the buses that came by were chock-a-block full. A nice SUV with some white people inside drove by, so I flagged it down to try my luck. They agreed to give us a ‘wou lib,’ or free ride.
I have gotten rides to Jacmel in private cars three times now, and each has been a unique experience. The first time was with a doctor who worked with a nursing school that has campuses throughout Haiti. We talked about the similarities between UNIF and his school, and he even gave me a tour of the Jacmel campus before dropping me off. The second time someone stopped I hurried through the usual sob story of not being able to find a bus in my accented Creole, and the middle-aged woman in the passenger seat replied “Honey, do you speak English?” It turned out that she was a double US-Haitian citizen who had lived in Miami for 30 years, and had recently moved back to Haiti. When I remarked what a beautiful country Haiti is, referring to the impressive scenery as we were driving through the mountains, she said “It’s great, we don’t have to pay any taxes!”
The last time was even more interesting, because we were picked up by a pair of missionaries, one from Iowa and the other from the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. They were part of a small community of missionaries that has no name, no fundraising efforts, and no organization. Still, they were driving a new SUV and one had just been back from a 5-month series of conferences in Europe, so something seemed a bit off. In any case, the Iowan had been in the country for 23 years, making him a veteran of a dictatorship, transition to democracy, two military coups, and the current internationally-appointed regime. We have been invited to their house for coffee anytime, and I just might take them up on it. It would surely make for good conversation.