Thursday, July 16, 2015

Port au Prince through the Windshield

Hillside Housing in Port au Prince

People headed to work
"Fresh" Poultry Sales
     Urban crowding is not an issue anywhere that I have ever been that can match Port au Prince, Haiti.  The houses and the people are stacked one upon another.   People and cars are jammed on the sidewalks and in roads.   Between the “human trucks” carrying their wares on their heads and livestock being sold on the city streets, this is a place that I have never seen the lies of before.  The people are very warm and friendly in the service industry and take very good care of us getting from place to place.  In the hotels, the service is wonderful and the food was very good.


    Unfortunately, we were not able to make connection with Alain from Barbancourt Distillery and visit the factory.   The plane was late arriving and we didn’t get into Port Au Prince until after 4:30 pm.  Our schedule didn’t allow us to go on Tuesday morning, as we were boarding an early flight to Santiago de Cuba.  


Gravel Roads
     The houses are stacked like cord wood one on top of the other with only stairs and narrow walkways between them if anything at all.  Some of the houses are very colorful and others are basic concrete grey and brown.    These dwellings are stacked on the lower hillsides and the better houses are further up the hills.  To fit 1,100,000 plus people into a city with as small a footprint as Port au Prince (13.92 Sq. Mi.), takes a lot of vertical building and very close together to house all of them.

Human Trucks
     I found this city to be very interesting to say the very least, the stark poverty to the 5 star hotel in which we stayed you could find very unusual things under one roof, car wash, restaurant and bank all in one shop.   Along the way to and from the airport, we found many things the likes of I’ve never seen before.  Veggies and produce on the sidewalks for sale in their version of a fresh market, and poultry still alive and sold right on the sidewalk.   People and cars seem to be in an almost continuous gridlock throughout the city.  It takes 45 minutes to go approximately 3 miles to the airport from the hotel.

     Look out Santiago de Cuba we are on our way to see what this has to offer.   Really excited about the visit and all of the historic things to see there.   ;o)