I think the world has the wrong idea of Haiti.
Don’t get me wrong – a lot of what you see and hear is true. Haiti has it’s fair share of poverty, sadness, and corruption. Traffic is deplorable. People are in some really bad situations here.
When I see or hear people talking about those things I can’t help but think, “Tell the world something they don’t know.” I’ve only been here two and a half months, but here’s a nugget of truth for you…
…I can buy kefir in the grocery store.
That super hipster, fermented milk drink that you have to buy at super hipster, local, organic (insert every other granola catch phrase here) grocers is easily bought in Haiti. I hear people sometimes comment on how shocked they are that there’s internet here and I want to be like, “Really? There’s freaking KEFIR!” There’s organic kefir on the shelves of Belmart, yet people envision Haiti as some sort of land that is entirely cut off from the world, stuck in its depravity and waiting for white, church going westerners to rescue it.
And here’s the real secret that I almost don’t want to let out.
Haiti is kind of awesome sometimes. Sure, it’s not always awesome living without hot water or basically off roading everywhere you drive (well…). But, Haiti has a lot going for it and the world needs to see the bright side in regards to Haiti every now and then. That doesn’t mean you have to sweep problems under the rug, but there’s no harm in a truthful, healthy perspective. There’s an award winning rum distillery and brewery here. There are really, REALLLY gorgeous beaches. There’s delicious food, great hiking, mountain biking trails, waterfalls, interesting history, old forts, heck there’s a WORLD HERITAGE SITE.
So I introduce to you a new kind of blog post about Haiti that I like to call, “Haiti For The Win.” This idea started when we realized you can buy filet mignon here for less than a meal at Taco Bell. That’s definitely a big, fat win for Haiti.
Last Friday was April’s birthday so we all went to the beach for a quick break. The best part of Haiti’s landscape is how the mountains just roll right on down into the ocean. It’s breathtaking.
So we spent some time snorkeling, sitting poolside, eating good food, and taking in the views.
While sitting by the beach trying to figure out what to do for lunch, a Haitian guy comes up in the water with a massive crab in one hand and a lobster in the other – both still kicking it. The toughest decision of last Friday was whether to have fresh crab or fresh lobster. We went with lobster.
Within a half hour, this guy had cooked up the lobster for us on the beach…total cost – $10.
Haiti for the win.