Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sights of Milot

Milot was the name of the town that we worked in.  We were able to squeeze in some time for sightseeing.  We hired one of the Haitian translators and an employee from the hospital to serve as our tour guides.  The first thing we visited was the cemetery, maybe an odd thing to tour, but it was interesting.  It reminded me of the cemeteries in New Orleans - which makes sense considering the Creole influence in New Orleans. 

There were some disturbing things to see there.  According to our translator, after a person has been entombed for 15-20 years, the family will remove the body and burn it and the casket.  This is done to make room for another casket of a recently deceased family member.  We saw a casket that had been removed, but not yet burned.  I had to maintain my emotional distance and just observe the situation from a cultural aspect.

On a lighter note, the other tour we took was the San-Souci palace that was built in the early 1800.  Wikipedia has a good article about it here.

It was about a mile or mile and a half from the hospital.  I went with three other women and our two Haitian tour guides.  It occurred to me while we were at the palace that I had just done something that I would never do here in the States.  I was in a remote area with no American male, no weapon, no idea how to contact the police or hospital if we had an emergency with two Haitian male tour guides that I had know for a few hours.  I did have two nurses with me.  I felt totally safe the entire time.  The Haitian guides were thankful for the work we were doing and they wanted us to return to Haiti with our husbands and stay for a while.  As I said my goodbyes to one of the guides, he told me that he would pray for me.  When's the last time someone that you did business with here told you that?

These are a couple of murals in Milot.  The one above is of the citadel in Milot.  We didn't have the chance to tour that because it was quite a bit further away than the palace.  It was built during the same time period.  The mural below is across the street from the hospital.

This is the front of the hospital.  They were able to perform some complicated surgeries and they had the ability to do lab work and x-rays, but there were things about it that we rather primitive.  For example, they kept a fly-swatter in the ICU to swat the flies in the ICU.  That is unheard of here.

I mentioned in a previous post that the roads where in terrible shape.  Here's an example.  The entire road was like that, pothole after pothole.  The picture below is an example of the public transportation.  It looked rather unsafe!  After being on those road, I don't think I'll ever get unnerved about a traffic situation here in the States.  If you were walking, you had to be constantly on the look out for motorcyclists.  Most of them were good to honk and let you know that they were behind you, but not all of them did that.  If you were riding in a vehicle, you better have taken some Dramamine before you embarked.  It was an incredibly bumpy ride.

This is a the Catholic church near the palace.  Services are still held there.
This man was one of the street vendors.  He sold bracelets and paintings.  He gave Amanda a pineapple.

1 comment:

  1. Goodness, what memories! I so enjoy reading about and seeing the pictures of your mission to Haiti. What a blessing your were to those precious people.