Why Haiti should be on your bucket list
I received an e-mail from a dear, old friend that started with "If you're up for a spontaneous adventure..." and two weeks later I found myself in Haiti.
When you think of Haiti you’re probably imaging a third world country that is still struggling from the effects of poverty and the natural disasters that have plagued it. Well, unfortunately, you’re right. But (and this is a big BUT) what you probably didn’t know is that the people of Haiti are INCREDIBLE. They’re proud, they’re kind, they’re happy, and above all else, they’re resilient. On top of that, Haiti has some of the prettiest white sand beaches and warm turquoise water. It IS a part of the Caribbean after all!
For six days and five nights, I was taken on a journey to learn about Haitian culture, embrace sustainable tourism, lounge on a private beach, and make new friends (in no particular order).
Let's start with the beach... 150 acres of private, jungle good-ness. We had personal tents decked out with chic rugs, succulents, and candles where we could hear the waves crashing on the shoreline all night long. We had a private chef. We had a yoga instructor and a massage therapist. And last but not least... we had spikeball.
One of the most important aspects of the trip was to interact and connect with the local Haitians. We visited two particular cities, Port Francais and Labadie, where they make anywhere from $2.50 to $25 a day.
When asked what three things they needed help with most, they responded with: 1) building a school, 2) building roads, and 3) playing soccer. So, during our visit, we brought along a soccer ball and some jerseys. After taking a "short-cut" through the village, we had gathered enough of the children to get a heated game going!
hile the kids are playing soccer, you can find the dads playing Dominoes. As their form of gambling, they play with pain rather than money. The more you lose, the more clothespins you clip to your face... Any takers?
We spent our last day beachside with late breakfast, beers, books, and visits from the sweetest family friends.
After all of the adventure is said and done, something I will never forget is the genuine smiles that came from each of these kids <3.
Haiti, you will be missed!