The new school year- and my last in Haiti- starts with a bang! We got a new housemate, Lisa, as well as another whole house full of ex-pat teachers! Five new teachers who now live together, plus the five at our house. We introduced them to our friends around Petionville, including our friend Rafael (who took Jonathan’s place at the sugar company), Jean Marc (a cousin of Monica’s who has returned to Haiti to run a family construction business), Chris (works at the embassy), and a few others. We’ve been hashing a couple of times, including a hash by the dump, where they are building the new embassy, as well as a couple around Pacot, where Jean Marc, Chris, and Rafael live.
A few new clubs have opened up, including a Lebanese restaurant called MacDoo’s -great food and hookah pipes- and we still go dancing at Club Barak, and Boucane Gregoire has a nice outdoor atmosphere. Tom goes with us a lot, although Sue has been staying home more, as she is pregnant! We also sometimes see Fran, Melissa, and Kasson and Olivia, the teachers at the Juvenat house. Malushcka and other hashers are sometimes seen at Boucane, and meeting up at Resto Bar St. Pierre has that “almost home” feeling of the neighborhood bar. On Wednesdays I tutor two of my students and have dinner with their parents, and I’ve been spending more time at the Petionville Club– a cute boy I like is often there. Pia and I bought a car together, so suddenly we are a lot more mobile!
In October, me, Lisa, Jean Marc, Pia, and Chris went to Jean Marc’s beach house to stay for a weekend. There was a beach concert out at Club Kaliko and that was pretty fun. It was great visiting the beach and eating all kinds of fresh seafood.
For my birthday I went to the beaches in the Dominican Republic for a really short (24 hour!) All Saint’s holiday. We all spent Thanksgiving vacation at my number one vacation spot: Andy and Monica’s mountain house. It was a fabulous meal and a wonderful, relaxing weekend, although it was also sad, as this was the first holiday without Hans Peter. While visiting one of the beaches in October, he apparently contracted malaria, and he died in early November, quite unexpectedly. It has been a very sad time for Ingrid, Hans Ryan, and Verenna.
I’ve been spending a lot of time with Chris, going to different functions. There was a UN party at La Reserve (ironically, right on our own street), which I wound up attending. We have also been to a UN photography exhibit of our acquaintance Sophie’s, and a dinner and awards ceremony at the Pakistani UN camp. It’s been really interesting to see the military side of Haiti. Lisa and I went to the Marine Ball and danced it up all evening.
I decided to split my Christmas holiday between home and Haiti- I went to Íle-á-Vache with Chris for a few days, then home for Christmas. I’ll be heading back to Haiti to spend the New Year’s Eve- there’s going to be a big concert and party at the Oloffson Hotel and RAM is playing!