We show off Haiti to our visiting friends, and more elections

fishing boat Haiti blue water

March was a difficult month at work. The teachers at the other house were having roommate problems, and things escalated to the point where one of them was fired. As she taught US and World History, my favorite two classes, I volunteered to take her two classes and get rid of my sixth grade English classes, who are little monsters. I did manage to get away for a beach weekend with Chris at Kaliko, and that helped, as it was quite nice.

Kaliko Beach Resort Haiti
Deah at Kaliko Resort

Lisa’s parents, and then Pia’s mom and sister, came down to visit us and had a wonderful time. I was starting to feel pretty lonely so I managed to talk Hunter into coming down for the last weekend in March. He agreed, and we had a whirlwind long weekend tour of Haiti! He arrived, and Chris picked him up from the airport. They met us at the Montana Hotel for drinks, then went to Monica and Andy’s house for drinks and dinner. Later that night we all went out in Petionville to Boucane, MacDoo’s, and Barak.

On Saturday we got up pretty early to drive out to Jean Marc’s beach house. That evening we drove up to Monica’s mountain house to spend the night and have a relaxing Sunday. Along the way we had lots of rum punches, more than one wahoo, bought a live chicken (that was pretty damn funny), and generally had a good time. But I was exhausted by the time he left on Monday!

My homeroom had to sponsor school-wide Easter activities, and that added to the extra class I was teaching, was really starting to take its toll on me. Still recovering from Hunter’s visit, and only four days back at work before I had to leave to go home for Amber’s wedding. Stupid American Airlines cancelled our last flight out of the day, so I had to leave Friday morning, and I got home too late for the rehearsal. I did, however, make it to the dinner, and Amber was so happy to see me. Saturday was her wedding, and by the time that was all over, I was exhausted to the point of not being able to do anything else. I spent all Sunday in bed, and was supposed to fly back to Haiti on Monday. But I just couldn’t do it. Exhaustion, a sinus infection, thoughts of Easter activities…. Combined together, I couldn’t face it. I changed my flight to Wednesday and stayed home an extra two days, in bed, trying to get well again.

Deah and Amber, wedding day

In April, Lisa and I were supposed to leave for our Spring Break adventure, a trip to Guadalupe, Martinique, and Dominica. Her boyfriend Vlad picked us up for the airport- an hour late. About half way there, his car broke down. We grabbed a tap-tap and headed the rest of the way to the airport, but our flight was just about to leave and it was too late for us. We changed our tickets to June and we’ll go on our adventure then. For this week, we decided to just plan small fun things for this area. We went to the beach with Tom and Sue and their new baby Jordan, and yesterday we went up to The Lodge and had a long lunch. My friend Yves, who works for a USAID program, asked if I could be UN election observer for the Senatorial elections on Friday. It all turned out pretty interesting.

Before we knew it, the school year was winding down. Tom and Sue are heading to Kuwait for their next teaching job, and I’m going to Nicaragua. Lisa is staying in Haiti another year, and Chris is going to Africa. It was sad saying farewell at the last hashes of the year, but we’re all excited to see what the next adventures bring us. Stay tuned to see what life is like in Nicaragua!

New Teachers New Friends New Travels in Haiti

friends in the water at wahoo bay haiti

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!