La Saline beach in Jacmel Haiti

La saline is one of Jacmel’s hidden gems. You won’t find it on any tourist brochure but it’s a favorite among locals for several reasons. Most people will tell you to visit Ti Mouillage or Raymond or Kabik. But La Saline shouldn’t be left out. It’s perfect do to its proximity to the city center. It can take between five to seven minutes on a motor bike to get there. If you feel like going on an adventure and you can walk; it will probably anywhere between thirty to forty-five minutes.

I first heard about La Saline from one of the locals that I befriended over the last month or so. I wanted to relax somewhere nice but I didn’t want to go far. To be honest when he said La saline I wasn’t sure what it was. My friend didn’t really explain it well or at all. He just said to go there and bring a friend. So that’s what I did. I took a friend with me, grabbed the nearest moto taxi and went on an adventure. Off the beaten path I would call it because we went from paved roads to dirt paths! On the way there the taxi driver asked if I wanted to go to the front or the back. Not knowing the difference he explained that the front is where people relax and the back is where people swim. Not knowing which was the front or the back, I chose where people relaxed.

La saline Beach

When we got to the entrance of La saline, the view was beautiful. On the shoulders of the rocks there were beautiful homes, one had a beautiful deck; the colors on the homes were beautiful. There were kids playing, swimming, eating, listening to great music and enjoying their time. I immediately felt lucky that my friend told me about this place and I was able to share that moment with my friend that came along the ride. We got to an area where most of the moto taxis and some cars were stationed and got off.

La Saline Beach in Jacmel

We walked over to this cliff area where we could see out into the ocean and the area that the locals were swimming. The only thing I wish I had were some swimming drunks and something to drink. We decided to sit down and watch everyone else run out into the ocean. Little crabs were crawling near the cliff and the ocean was crashing into the rocks. The sound of the water crashing was beautiful. For a moment, I fell asleep because it was so relaxing.

Jacmel Haiti La Saline Beach

Being at La Saline was one of the best moments of living in Jacmel. It’s a hidden gem that needs to be publicized more. Whenever I return to Jacmel, I will be sure to bring some swimming trunks a few drinks and head out to La Saline.

 

Singapore Nightlife

Singapore Nightlife

Chances are if you are reading this article, you’re in Singapore or planning on visiting Singapore. If you’re like me, you want to make sure you enjoy the nightlife in Singapore. While I was living I had the opportunity to check out some great spots that the city had to offer.

Clarke Quay

No matter what day of the week, Clark Quay is always packed. The area is beautiful at night, you will find people taking pictures or hanging out by the bridge talking and drinking a few beers. Clark Quay is filled with restaurants, bars, clubs, and some clothing stores. They have specialty bars that are themed like The Clinic, the seats are wheel chairs, the drinks come in different flavors through an IV tube and shots are in the form of a needle. You can find some Irish and British themed pubs. Most of the bars usually have futbol/soccer playing in the background or cricket depending on the location. Drinks will run you around $10 and up for beer and more for liquor. Be ready to spend around $50 or more on a typical night.

If you’re your into live music, you can find plenty of places that have live bands. The bars and clubs in Clarke Quay play all types of music ranging from Hip Hop, R&B, Pop, Electronica, Rap, Dubstep, Reggae, House/Techno music. You name it and they have it. Some of the bigger clubs like Atica usually bring in internationally know DJ’s to play at there clubs. Typical night life in Clarke Quay ends around 3am or 4am and some places close later.

Clark Quay

Boat Quay

Boat Quay is located in the same vicinity as Clarke Quay. It’s a short walk between the two places. filled with great bars and restaurants. There are a few minor clubs but for the most part you will find bars and restaurants near the water. People come there to hang out, drink, talk, and enjoy the beauty of Singapore. The seafood is amazing but if you don’t feel like paying for the restaurant or bar food, you can check out the mini Hawker Center for great food. Like many places in Singapore, you will find a lot of late night massage parlors and legal working girls asking you to come into their clubs.

Bugis

Bugis is a great place to visit during the day or night. On a typical night in Bugis you will find the streets lined up with motor bikes and bicycles. You find great Halal food and great hookah. This is more of a hang out and talk atmosphere. The restaurants are reasonably prices between $10-$35 depending on the restaurant. It’s a great place to hang out with friends or to bring a date. The area closes around 3am. Depending on the night, you will mostly find soccer/futbol on the television screen. One of the unique clubs I accidentally ran into was Blue Jazz Cafe. They have a great selection of live and recorded Jazz music. Once or twice a month on a Saturday night, the top floor of Blue jazz Cafe has hip hop and reggae night. If you are looking for great hip hop and reggae, just walk upstairs and ask when are they hosting the party.

Bugis

Sentosa

Sentosa is the man-made beach of Singapore. Usually they will have concerts and outdoor parties. You have to listen to the advertisements to know when the next party will be. But for the most part you can find something every weekend.

Two sides of Geylang

Two sides of Geylang

While I was living in Singapore, one of the places that I was often told to visit was Geylang. Geylang is the area of Singapore’s red-light district and has arguably the best food in Singapore. I know some of you are wondering “how could this be?” but according to the locals, it’s true. The first day, that I arrived in Singapore I was told to visit the area. Me being from the states, as soon as I heard that it was also a red light district, I immediately thought of prostitutes and to stay away.

Over the next few weeks I pushed away any thought of dining in that district. I remember one night we were taking the cab ride back home to Simei and the cab driver asked us if we wanted to take a detour and drive through the Geylang district. With some hesitation, we agreed and off went. The driver was born and raised in Singapore so he was very knowledgeable of the area. He showed us one side of Geylang which was the food district and the other part which is the red light district with brothel houses and hotels looking for customers. Looking through the cab window it wasn’t as bad as I made it out to be. Please keep in mind that prostitution is legal in Singapore. There are all sorts of rules and guidelines that these employees and employers have to maintain to get their business going. Because it was part of their culture in Singapore, the people weren’t as bothered by it as I was. In the United States, for the most part prostitution is legal with some exceptions. So for me it was strange seeing this live in person. I did not part take in any of the activities. But being in the presence of these workers was definitely out of my comfort zone.

 

Frog meat

A few months later I was invited out to dinner by some friends that I made in Singapore. They wanted to meet in Geylang and have frog meat. I’ve never had frog meat before. It was delicious and tastes just like chicken. Another popular dish in the area, which I did not eat/drink, was turtle soup. The area is filled with Hawker centers and restaurants. After we were done eating, we walked around and looked at some of the local shops. The food district at the time didn’t have a lot of street walkers walking around; I don’t know if that’s changed since I last visited. If you ever visit Singapore, I suggest you visit the area because it is so unique and it’s part of the culture.

My experience in Singapore

My experience Singapore

While working for my previous employer, I had the opportunity to work and live in Singapore with two other colleagues. Prior to the job assignment in Singapore, I didn’t pay much attention to Asia. I knew it was a place that I would eventually want to visit but to what I extent? I didn’t know. Growing up in Haiti and America, what I learned of Asian culture was from brief celebrations of Chinese New Year in school, visiting Chinatown, cheap Chinese food, Kung Fu movies, and some friends that I made while in school. This all seems like a lot of interaction but it’s nothing compared to my experience in Singapore and other parts of Asia.

Singapore

For those of you who are new to Southeast Asia, Singapore is one of the biggest financial centers in the world. It’s a small country that’s very advanced in technology and societal rules. The main language spoken in Singapore is Malay and English. Singapore used to be under the rule of the British. You will notice the British influence on the country. A lot of bars and restaurants and other places of entertainment are British owned or themed. What I loved about living in Singapore was the people and the food. My coworkers were great. I arrived in Singapore during the Chinese New Year Celebration which is about ten days. All the managers took out the employees for lunch for all 10 days. We had black pepper crab, chili crab, lo hey, and other types of traditions food. My coworkers were very impressed that I could use a chop stick. I thought that was funny.

Initial thoughts of the country

Singapore is one of the cleanest countries in the world. The first day I was there, I noticed one of the custodians cleaning the fire hydrant with a tooth-brush. I stood there staring at him for a few seconds. That’s something that I’ve never seen before. I thought to myself “they really take this cleaning stuff to the next level”. My first cab experience was interesting. It’s always good to meet cab drivers with enthusiasm for their job and a willingness to educate tourists of their home country. What I learned from the cabby is that Singapore has a religious tolerance, all religions are accepted and practiced, the Jacksons, especially Janet and Michael have huge followings in Singapore, most of the people spoke English, and some of the popular tourists locations in Singapore.

Traveling around

Singapore is a well-developed country so transportation was easy. The country is small which makes it easy navigate. The three main forms of transportation are the MRT or Trains, taxi, and buses. In order to use the bus and MRT you need an EZ-link pass. You can put any amount of money into the pass. Every major MRT stop has a mega-mall. Shopping is a big deal in Singapore and other parts of Asia. The signs are in English and Malay. It is very easy to get around in Singapore through MRT. You can travel from one end of the city to another and in 1hr 30minutes. The MRT is mapped out in color and it takes you to the airport. Out of the three forms of transportation, the bus is the cheapest, but it also takes the longest to get to your destination.

Food Hawker Centers (food court)

Singapore has these massive food courts called Hawker Centers. You can find them anywhere you go in the city. The food is nothing short of amazing. You can also get amazing fruit drinks like, sugar cane, mango, and papaya. The price ranges between $2-$5 depending on what you get. One of the things you will learn quickly is portion control. You receive small portions of everything, so it’s up to you to tell the vendors that you want more food.

Some of the most well know dishes are Nasi Lamek, Chicken Rice, Black Pepper Crab, Chili Crab

The Beauty of fruits

Fruit stands are usually in the same vicinity as the Hawker Centers. I had some of the most amazing fruits that I’ve ever tasted in my life while in Singapore. The king of the fruits is called Durian and the Queen of the fruits is called Mangosteen. Durian, when you smell it for the first time has a bad smell to it, but what I’ve learned is once you try the fruit, it will either taste sweet or sour and once you’ve had it, the initial smell that you had will be gone and you will only smell the best of the fruit. I can attest to that. I used to cover my nose when I smell Durian till one of my friends that I met in Singapore made me try it. It’s a weird tasting fruit, it’s slimy and gooey, but very tasty if you can pick out a good one. Mangosteen is a very sweet fruit, you have to peel off the skin to get to the center or the seed that has the actual fruit. Mangosteen quickly became my favorite fruit with a strong contender from mangoes. I was in fruit heaven while living in Asia, I had mangoes, Mangosteen, Durian, and other fruits everyday. The best part about Singapore is it doesn’t have seasons so there are always fruits. In the month of July to early August they usually have fruit festivals. I was fortunate enough to attend the one that they had at my job. All the coworkers came out and had a great time. To prove that I was not afraid of tasting Durian, I tried it in front of everyone and they were very pleased. Outside our offices were a few mango trees that I used to use a stick to pick out the ripe ones. I quickly became known for doing that and putting the unripened mangoes in a brown paper bag.

Durian

How I made friends

I’m by a nature an outgoing person so it wasn’t hard for me to make friends. I also had the benefit of coming to the country with people I worked and were friends with from the United States, so it made it easy to hang out. However, I wanted to have some local friends as well. Singapore has a lot of programs that you can sign up for a cheap rate such as photography, dance, karate, learning a new language, and Microsoft Office Suite. Since, I was started to fall in love with photography I signed up for one of the photography courses which was taught by professional who was doing pro bono work at the time. Through that class I was able to meet people who had a common interest and were locals. My job had interns for a few weeks and I befriended a few of them. I checked out expat blogs, spoke to people who were going to the universities as exchange students, and I met people at hostels. During one my trips to the Bintan Islands in Indonesia with my co-workers from the states, we were able to meet some people from Canada that had lived in Singapore for a while, they introduced us to other people and we just kept expanding our circle. I remember my friends and I being at one of the expat bars in Singapore and I overheard someone say they were from Chicago and we all began chatting and since then we’ve been great friends. Another time, I was coming from the MRT or train station and I noticed someone wearing a Detroit hat and we began talking and becoming good friends till this day. The point I am trying to make is to go out there and be proactive about meeting new people. You will never know what you have in common with someone until you speak up and start a conversation. Just remember to be smart about it.

Singapore interns

Overall experience

I had a life changing experience living in Singapore. I know you probably hear it all the time and at this point its become a cliché but living in Singapore was and still is a life changer. I was living and working in Singapore for six-months. In those six-months, I met a lot of people from all over the world. I’ve tried all sorts of food that I’ve never heard over before. My perception of Asia change, especially in my understanding of who or whom is considered Asian or what Asian’s look like. When you get an opportunity such as this, you have to fully invest yourself in the culture and I did that. I hung out with the locals, went to the festivals, participated in events, took classes, and contributed to the overall society. I interacted with most of the people at my job and they appreciated that I came to their country with an open mind and was willing and able to try anything they recommended. Which in turn lead to more opportunities for me to interact with my coworkers in and out of work. They took me out to lunch, brought me to their homes, and taught me the language, and shared their lives with me. In return I did the same. The reason this travel blog exists is because of my wonderful experience in Singapore and other parts of Asia. I wanted to bring that message to anyone who was willing to read and listen. I wanted to give advice to people so they don’t make the same errors as I did the transition to a new lifestyle. I came out of this experience as better person because of the experiences and the knowledge that I’ve gained. I made it a personal goal to visit a new country every year and to continue my newly found passion of traveling. As a result, I am currently pursuing a Master in Science in Tourism Management degree. I would love to go back and work and live in Asia and help other countries develop their tourism industry.

West Indian Day Parade

West Indian Day Parade

Every year the West Indian Day parade is held on the first Monday of September. Which is also known as Labor Day in the United States. Months of planning culminate into that one-day. As of 2013 the parade has been going strong for 46 years. The parade is held on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn every year. Millions of people attend the event it’s the largest West Indian Day parade in the United States.

West Indian Day Parade Rain

How to get there

Getting there depends on your original destination. You can drive into the nearby neighborhoods of the Barkley Center on Atlantic Avenue to park and walk your way towards the parade. New York City does a great job of adding additional subway trains and buses to and from the area.  The best option is to check your local news listings or transportation station for news and updates.

 Safety

Over the last few years, the West Indian Day Parade has caught a lot of bad publicity for some of the violence that takes place because of a few individuals. However, each year, the New York Police Department (NYPD) and other law enforcement agencies add extra security and check points to keep everyone safe. Officers in street clothing and uniform walk along the parkway and make sure justice is being served.  There are a few things you can do on your own to keep yourself safe. Take care of your personal valuables, don’t pull out large amounts of cash, don’t accept drinks and other beverages from people you don’t know, and travel with a buddy.

 The Food

If you haven’t been to the parade, I suggest you attend.  The food is amazing. It’s a great way to get a crash course into Caribbean cuisine. Each country has it’s own special dish and it’s on full display at the parade. The quality of the food determines whether vendors will have repeat costumers. The usual attendees of the parade know where to buy the best food according to their taste, so if you are not sure and its your first time at the parade, I suggest you come hungry and try them all. Let your tastes buds and your stomach decide which island has the best food.

Jamaican Food

 Culture

Whether you are Caribbean or other nationality, the sense of pride that you see at the West Indian Day Parade is incredible.  You can feel the music through your bones and the core of your body. You can’t help but dance when you hear the music from the islands. When each float passes by, representatives from that island are waving their flags, cheering, dancing, and yelling, with joy and excitement. You can feel the energy and the love in the air. The event is a chance for every nation to represent their home country and to showcase to the world their dance, music, food, costumes, and the love of country.

West Indian Day Parade 2013  West Indian Day parade Snakes

 Personal Experience

Being born in Haiti and for the most part growing up in the United States, I love going to these type of events and seeing the floats of each country. I love tasting new food, so I will try the cuisine from each country.  The parade is a great opportunity to network and get to know the people and culture of the islands. It’s  exciting to see which country has the most flags or people following their floats. It’s a great competition and bragging rights and it makes every other country want to make their floats even better for next year. I’ve been to the parade several times now and I always try to bring someone who hasn’t experienced the parade with me. I love watching the look on their faces when they taste Caribbean food for the first time or see the beautiful people of the Caribbean islands.  Everyone that I’ve brought to the West Indian Day Parade always has a good time and I hope to continue that. Don’t be shy and come to the parade the next time around.

West Indian Day Parade James

You Better Belize It!

You Better Belize It!

Placencia, Belize. Not the average Honeymoon Getaway and precisely the allure. We married on July 6, 2013 and took flight on July 8, 2013 as husband and wife. We booked our trip back in April on Hotwire.com. We did a flight and hotel bundle booking and saved.

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Our trip began on a 5:30am flight for five hours, arriving in Belize City, Belize at 10:30am that included a connecting flight in Texas. Once in Belize we still had not reached our destination of Placencia. We boarded a smaller aircraft for 40min, an 8 minute cab ride later we had arrived!

Laru Beya Beach Resort. Front desk receptionist escorted us to our one bedroom villa. It consisted of an open concept full kitchen, living room views out to the patio where we were mere steps from the warm beach. The bedroom had a king size bed with an on suite bathroom included double vanity and a large glass shower, cannot forget the large window that overlooked the beach. Basically all that you could ask for in a relaxing vacation and in this case, Honeymoon! The resort has a Restaurant and an Outdoor Pool. Delicious fresh food and drinks delivered poolside. We were literally in paradise for a week.

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Front Desk was very nice and accommodating when we wanted to book any tours or relaxation treatments. We took full advantage booking tours, adventures and massages! We booked the Lubaantun & Nim Li Punit Mayan Ruin Tours, I had an In-Room one-hour massage (Patricia is amazing) and we also did a daring Zip-Lining and Cave Tubing adventure.

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Respectively quite educational, ultra relaxing and extremely exhilarating! On our less adventurous days we took to the town by taxi and then again by golf cart. In town, there were stores with hand crafted gifts and jewelry made from the stones and rocks of the beach, we visit a delicious ice cream parlor, TuttiFrutti, best Carmel and Cappuccino flavored ice cream  you’ve ever tasted and of course we took a trip to several of the bars and restaurants.

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Belize was different and not the cliché for the average Honeymoon. We are sure any resort would have given us the same experience, but it was the country that made the trip. The people, the water and cannot forget the food, we will certainly return to the country of Belize for future vacations. Another great reason to  try something different is the reasonable cost of this trip. We spent in total about $3000, that included our flights, resort, food and all the little extra adventures we took part in. Cannot wait to do it again!

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How to get a local number in the Dominican Republic

How to get a local number in the Dominican Republic

When traveling abroad it’s always a good idea to get a local number in case of emergencies. Most of the time it’s cheaper to have a local number than to pay the international roaming rights by your home provider. From what I’ve learned, most countries are on the GSM network. Companies like T-Mobile and AT&T in the United States use GSM.

When you are in the Dominican Republic, the two major phone companies are Claro and Orange. Orange is a GSM network. In order to get a local number you need a passport to open an account and an unlocked phone that takes sim cards. You can decide to add data to your number such as being able to use the internet without wi-fi or a pay as you go basic plan. It’s not necessary to have a contract.

You can refill your minutes by buying minutes at Claro or Orange store or you can get them at the local gas stations, liquor stores, or at a kiosk. All you need is your phone number and any of the employees at the stations can add the minutes to your phone for you. You don’t have to carry your passport with you to refill your minutes.

 

taken from Google. i do not own this image.
taken from Google. i do not own this image.

Backpacking and Community Service

While in Santo Domingo I met two great people by the name of Jay and Ryan who presented me with the opportunity to help one of the local communities in the San Jose de Ocoa area. The organization they represented titled “The New World Community (thenwc.com)” and in association with “Adesjo” were helping out the local communities in the mountains. Every year high schools and universities from Canada fly down to the Dominican Republic to perform community service with the local organizations. Organizations such as Adesjo has been helping with building houses, aqueducts, schools, in the outskirts of the mountains for over 50 years. Working with a Adesjo and Thenwc we went out to a small community in the mountains called La Bocaina. We were to build a house for one of the families in the area.

Adesjo San Jose de Ocoa DSCN1490

The People

On the first day in La Bocaina we got a tour of the local community from Louis. He was the community police and a teacher of mathematics. He introduced us to a the local families in the area. They were grateful to meet us and happy that we were there to help their community. Louis himself was very funny. The men in that area were huge fans of baseball and loved the New York Yankees and any team that had Dominicans. They were proud of the players that came from the small island and became super stars like Jose Reyes. They knew all the stats. One of the men we spoke with was telling us that Jose Reyes played near their hometown and he wasn’t as good as he is now. But they are happy for his success. Speaking to the the men through broken Spanish, I explained to them that I was Haitian American and they seemed intrigued. They don’t encounter to many of Haitian Americans in the mountains. Through translation, one of the men said that Haitians and Dominicans go through similar struggles and I was lucky to grow up in the states. One of the college volunteers had blonde hair which is rare to see in the area. They were really fascinated by her.

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The Landscape

The houses in the area are made of wood and some of them are made of concrete. I didn’t notice internal plumbing. Outhouses were located a few feet from the house and showers were taken outside. There was little to no insulation. It wasn’t like the houses you would see in Santo Domingo. The people were proud of there homes and were happy for what they had. Living on these mountains you are one with nature. The people wore rain boots because when it rains it pours. I’ve seen bugs that I’ve never encountered before. The mosquito’s are relentless. The mountains had a river flowing through it.

La Bocaina Adesjo Adesjo

The Worksite

When we arrived at the work site, the family we were helping wanted a picture before we broke ground. It showed how much they appreciated what we were doing. The ground was already lined out in chalk to show us where we would start shoveling.The men explained what they wanted us to do. We were to shovel within the white lines and save any big stones we came across. Surrounding us were trees, fruit plants, small lizards, and chickens. We worked everyday for 6-8hrs and took lunch and water breaks. The area was filled with mosquito’s but they didn’t seem to bother the locals. Maybe it was because they were wearing pants and we came with shorts. We worked as a team filling buckets with water, mixing in the dirt and cement, filter the rocks from the pile. It was a great working at the site. These workers had years of experience building houses. Home and Garden TV would be proud. They used fish hooks to tighten up loose metal. They used wheel barrels as a measurement to figure out how much sand or cement to mix. It reminded me of all those math classes that I took and that I thought would never apply in real life. The men were impressed with our work effort.

La Bocaina  Bringing out the cement

Adesjo and Thenwc Community Service meeting

Adesjo and Thenwc had a meeting in their second location on the mountain tops of El Huguito. At this location they were repairing the roof of one of the residents of that community. The meeting was a chance for the executives of Adesjo to thank everyone for helping. Each leader thanked everyone for sharing the vision of the founder of Adesjo and their continued support of the local communities. They wanted the youths that came in from Canada to be ambassadors of Adesjo in Canada. They were grateful for the youths for coming and helping the community and instilling hope to the people. They were glad we took our time to help the poorest of the poorest. The message the community leaders wanted us to take home was this”Adesjo is interested in the people coming, the money is the least important to them, it’s our time and energy and physically helping the locals that matter.” The dedication is what’s important. They wanted us to get the experience of helping others. They love their small community despite the advantages of the city. They are grateful to live in their community with the advantages of water, electricity, and their music. As gifts for helping they gave everyone hats with the Adesjo logo.

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What I learned

It made me think about all the 1st world problems that I complained about and how they don’t matter. I should be doing more to help myself and others. I’m thankful that I was able to meet Jay and Ryan who brought me along. It was a real chance for me to interact with the local community and the Canadian students who took time out from their college break to help communities such as this. This has been an inspirational and life changing. It was a great break from the tourists world into the reality of how Dominicans outside of the city continue to live.

 

Petionville

The streets of Petionville are busy and filled with life. There are many schools in the area, so you will see lots of school children with uniforms on. If you are not from the area, people will be able to tell. You will stick out like a sore thumb. Every corner is covered with people trying to sell items such as meat, diapers, clothing, fruits, cell phones, water, and anything else to make some money to provide for their family. Every corner has professional shoe cleaners that do an excellent job of shinning your shoes after a long day of walking.

I am amazed by the lack of accidents in the city. The roads are filled with trucks and motorbikes zooming by and not caring for the stop signs. The moment a car is stopped, the car behind them is beeping their horn urging them to move it along. To get to the other side of the road, you must use extreme caution. Look both ways before you walk. Don’t walk behind a car when they are backing up. If you are walking behind or in front of a vehicle, be sure to hit the hood or the trunk of the vehicle to make sure they know you are there. The residents and visitors are used to the traffic, if you take a second to watch how everyone moves, you will notice a certain flow to it all.

Banks and western unions are guarded by men in uniform bearing shotguns. To get inside the banks or western unions, you have to be patted down. The hotels are guarded by security and police. United Nations trucks drive up and down the streets. The police are either carrying pistols or AK47’s as they patrol the area. I noticed a few people including children being taken away in trucks for either stealing or causing a disturbance.

The streets of Petionville are organized chaos. Depending on where you go, you can see views of the homes on the mountains. Most of the homes are not painted. But the buildings on the streets are painted.

Petionville, Haiti Petionville Haiti

Internet Cafes and Recharge stations

Almost every corner of Petionville has an internet cafe and recharge stations for your electronics. These cafe’s are used for playing video games and surfing the net.

 

Communication

Everyone calls each other chéri” everywhere you go you hear people calling each other “chéri” this is a term of endearment and flirtation

Some of the guys refer to each other as “Boss” not in sense of calling each other boss in a working situation but as friends or to show a mutual respect

its hard to tell who is or who isn’t Haitian or who is from the area unless they speak

Petionville Haiti

 

 

Haitian Taxi’s

While on my visit to Haiti the two transportation systems I used the most were the Tap-tap buses and the motor bikes. The Tap-tap didn’t require any negotiations with the driver. The prices are all set. The motorbikes however, required some negotiating to get to your destination. The motor bikes are the fastest means of transportation because they can move through traffic quickly.

 

Tap-Tap buses

The Haitian Tap- tap buses are usually around $15GUD. These Tap-tap buses are the modern day taxi services that take you anywhere. They are located in several locations throughout cities such as Petionville and Port-au-Prince. All the Tap-taps have specified routes that they take. When passengers hop on the Tap-tap buses, everyone on the Tap-tap greets the newcomer by saying “bonjour,” ” bonsoir,” or “bon nuit,” depending on the time of  day. When you want to get off at your stop, you hit the glass behind the driver so the driver knows to stop. If you are sitting at the end of the Tap-tap bus, any one of the passengers will hit the glass for you and the driver will stop. Once you get off at your stop, you pay the driver.

Haiti Tap-tap Taxi

Motorbikes

Motorbikes or “moto” are other means of transportation in Haiti.  They are more expensive than the Tap-tap, but they get you to your destination quicker. Motorbikes are found in the same areas as Tap-tap buses. The motorbike drivers travel in packs. They all know each other. Its a form of safety. All the prices can be negotiated  Locals usually use the same person for traveling on motorbikes because the locals want to build a relationship and set a firm price. It’s always good to go with the same motorbike driver in case an  emergency situation.

 

motorbikes