On the Way to Grand Anse, Haiti, 2008
July 10, 2008
Les Cayes, Haiti
I loved today, even though Nathalie and Yolette had gotten difficult on the drive. Before leaving, we walked over to the beach, where we found some stalls for eating. We ordered fish for a late breakfast. While waiting for it, I went to the room to fetch some things. A young woman walked by wearing a powder-blue cotton top that fit her sleek body perfectly. Her short black hair was in small braids. Our eyes met as she passed my door. I stuck my head out the door to look at her as she walked on. She looked back. She must have known I liked her. A minute or two later, she walked by in the other direction and stopped not far from my door. She spoke with another young woman, a maid. Our eyes met again, straight on. The other woman left for a moment, and I looked out of my door again at her. (In French, I said) “What is your name?” “Nahomie.” “Do you work here?” “No, my mother (does).” “Do you have a number, a telephone number?” “Yes.” “Can I have it?” She nodded affirmatively. I went and fetched a pen and paper. She started to write it. The other woman came. Nahomie handed me the paper. A moment later, she vanished.
I drove the car and tried to find a way back to the beach, which I eventually did. The fish was boiled and quite delicious. After eating, Nathalie, Yolette and I headed for Jeremie. The moment I asked in town for the route to Jeremie, Yolette and especially Nathalie, began to protest. “If you are going to Jeremie, I am going to stay here.” I explained that I was not going to go to Jeremie but only to the border between Les Cayes and the next province (Grand Anse).
I stopped to take some photos of large bundles of fresh hemp rope on the side of the road. Two old women with broad brimmed black hats fascinated me. I gave them money and they let me take photos of them. Through the town of Camp Perrin, the road was paved with smooth gray bricks, and it made for a nice ride. But just outside of town, the road became rocky and rough. As we climbed up the mountainside the road became very rough. Indeed it was one of the roughest roads I had ever been on. I enjoyed it, and even more so as we climbed. Yolette spoke in pitched tones about how dangerous it was!! There seemed to be no way to satisfy them!
Fortunately, as I had expected, the road got better as soon as we reached its high point A bit beyond it was a sign saying we were entering the province of Grand Anse.
We came to a village. An old woman with a hat asked me to give her money. I said I’d take photos of her and pay her later. A girl with a head of high hair stood nearby. The old woman motioned and rattled off something in Creole. It seemed to me that she was saying that I could take the girl with me. She motioned to her stomach and said she was hungry. There was too little food to eat.