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5430: an idle travel report (fwd)

From: Jedidiah <his_voidness@yahoo.com>

I'd like to make an idle travel report. I'm sure
that it wont interest most of our members at all,
but I like reading the occasional report from others,
and am always surprized when visiting by the 
changes which no one has bothered to report on.
( like the nice new parks on Cham de Mars )

I spent a week i Okap after flying into Okap
international airport. Via Lynx in a nice fast
plane. Much construction going on, an entire block
full of 19th century warehouse/hotel is being rebuilt
as a two story complex. The main road along the
water front is being slowly rebuilt, while the route
to the airport is actually finished.

My friends at All System Bar B Que are down in the
dumps. The economy for them is worse than ever.
Denni had to close down for a month cause no one
had any money to spend, while in Feb it was jumping
every night.

Prices have basically doubled on the essentials for
the poor, like beer, cigarettes and rice. Not really
doubled, it just feels that way.

I got my ATT cell phone activated via Com Cell, who
are now in Cap Haitian. Only la ville itself as yet.
They said it would work out to Vertierres and
some way past the airport. SOunds like they actually
have only one cell set up. He claimed that next month
there would be coverage to Limbe.

A new cinema/night club nears completion two blocks
inland from Roi Christophe. All of the gorgeous 
young women entertainers await this eagerly.
Ah, many of those entertainers have died recently,
mysteriously young.

Took a tap tap ride to Limonade with Jacques, whose
papa has a couple of plantations out that way.
On the way I saw the most wonderful thing, a real
back country banjo, about 8 to 10 inches deep, with
a home made neck. I couldn't see if it had frets,
( I doubt it ) or what kind of strings were used
as the tap tap was doing 35 mph. Too bad, I would
have given that guy a fortune for it, like $100.

Actually, I'd buy a truckload of them. I know I could
sell them.

So, the route  to LImonade after the turn off from
the Milot route was new to me. Mile after mile of
empty, fertile land, begging for cocoye plantations.
Or beans, or anything really. 90% of the productive
land here sits idle.

<<<Did you know that Haiti now imports Coconuts and
banann fig as well as sugar?>>>

Flew Tropic to PauP rather than brave the bus to
St Marc. The passage between Port Sonde/Gonaive
is very hard to take. 

THey did just commence working on that road.
An Italian company is doing the job.
I'll bet that fully 2/3 of the workers on the
job will be imported foreigners. THats the way
those jobs usually go.

Malaria struck me in disguise of the grippe.
Picked it up in Okap, which had lots of mud on
the streets up in the poor districts. The city
hadn't bothered to remove the mud because it would
just rain some more. ( the cynical explanation
that I was given).

So, in St Marc I stay with my adopted pov family,
with 8 of us in a sweltering two room concrete

I paid the tuition for the 17 year old girl,
bought a bottle of 5 star to burn over the tomb
of the 24 year old who just died from smoking
crack and hung out and sweated with folks who
don't speak any english.

Got two bank accounts opened with SOgebank.
The office in St Marc was much more helpful
than the one in Okap.

One bizarre thing tho, is that a cashiers check
is the same as cash anywhere in the world but
Haiti. It appears that the haitian central bank
confiscates it for two months. That does help
to answer why people are routinely killed while
carrying huge amounts of cash from the airport.

Ah, I paid for a Carte Identification for my
31 year old sister. At the contribution office.
They gave a receipt and advice that next september
was the earliest than an actual ID card could
be expected.

So, I did not get the purchase of a new little
house ak jardin accomplished.

I did learn that four days into a malaria attack
it becomes very hard to walk.

Ah, so one night in St Marc you could see lots of
lightning and clouds over the montan to the north.
The next day I am told that okap had bad floods
and many deaths. Haven't been back yet, that is

Ah, St Marc has taxi's now. Moto machin taxis, but
a vast improvement over walking everywhere. Especially
with malaria.

The bibliotheque national in St Marc has finally
been fixed up, and the port/doane is completely

Night life has basically disappeared cause folks
cant afford beer any more.
These completely irrelevant remarks have been
brought to you courtesy of Presige, Medale d'Or.

J David Lyall,
AKA His Voidness, or Soy Devoid

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