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Monday, January 12, 2015

Day in Jacmel

We took our first tap-tap today. In the city, the tap-taps are busses, brightly and beautifully colored. Outside the capital, they are mostly small trucks. The concept is the same, though. You put out your hand for a ride, they pick you up. We've seen some hauling donkeys as well as people. People get on and off anywhere along the way. There were about 8 to 10 people in ours at any given time, plus a large steel pot and a very large jug. At times a couple of the men were standing and hanging onto the back of the truck.  No donkeys though.

We made it into Jacmel fine, and disembarked in the middle of a very large, dense street market. People selling everything from produce to cosmetics.

Jacmel is largely, but not totally recovered from the earthquake. There are still partly collapsed buildings and piles of rubble interspersed with brightly painted new and reconstructed buildings. We passed a building where people were singing on a second floor open air thatch roofed  balcony, and waving their hands. Perhaps it was some kind of memorial service, as today is the 5th anniversary of the earthquake.

We found a couple of streets with stalls and stores of artisans, largely papier mache masks and other items. along with paintings and other crafts in metal and ceramic. Looked at a lot, and finally came across one of a woman, Charlotte, who was paining a papier mache rooster. She was as colorful as her work, was the only person we came across who was actually working, and her work seemed higher quality than most of the other crafts we'd seen. There was one other couple in her tiny shop. They were Haitian, and were exclaming about how much superior her work was to most others. I thought so too. They purchased a few painted wooden trays, and I got a saber toothed tiger mask, (very Haitian, as Loring said) and asked if she could finish painting a blue rooster that was only half finished. She said yes, and we came to the Hotel Florita, where we are now, for lunch (grilled goat for me) and internet,

It's been three hours, and in theory my rooster should be finished, and we will head back to Charlotte's shop as soon as I finish writing. The Florita was largely destroyed and has been completely rebuilt. Here at the hotel, almost everyone in the lobby/bar/restaurant is using a computer.Even two little kids, who are sitting entranced in front of an Apple. They are watching Home Alone.

Then back to the food market (the indoor supermarket kind, if we can find it) for more supplies, ie pb and J, and chocolate, club soday,  a few other indispensibles,  and then back to our house, by tap tap if we can figure out how to find one in the city.

Creole, or Krewel, as they spell it here, is a conglomeration of French and I don't know what else. Once in a while I can recognize a word. The word for hello is bon swa, in other words, good evening, in French,. But here people use it at all times of day.

I will keep writing, but may not get to post again until we are heading home a week from now.



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