It's been almost 4 months since I last wrote, and I know that all of you out there are aching for me to write. Instead of trying to catch you up, I'm just going to continue from this point forward. Maybe I'll make some "looking back" posts, but judging by my current blogging statistics, it's unlikely. Anywho...
It's officially the RAINY SEASON in Haiti. That means hot, hot heat during the day with about 99% humidity and thunderstorms throughout the afternoon/evening to cool everything off for the night. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of experiencing a Haitian rainstorm, allow me to elaborate:
It begins with a sprinkling, seemingly harmless, but nonetheless persistent. This could last anywhere from 10 minutes to a couple hours. Then, BOOM! The downpour begins, and is often accompanied by thunder so powerful it rattles your eardrums and shakes your heart from within your body. It's unsettling and invigorating all at once; I have yet to keep myself from jumping.
The duration of the storm is unpredictable. Sometimes is will only last about 30 minutes. If it lasts much longer, the consequences become worse. This is largely due to Port-au-Prince's TERRIBLE drainage, which means the more it rains, the more the streets flood. And when they flood, you better not plan on going anywhere, otherwise you'll be trudging through a foot of water. But the streets don't simply fill with rain runoff. No, sir! The floods carry all the mud and trash that people throw in the street, too.
Once the water level settles, banks of said mud and trash become visible throughout the streets. Seemingly shallow puddles disguise themselves in 6-inch deep potholes. Unpaved "sidewalks" become slippery, slimy mud pits. This makes for eventful walking, especially since it's rarely light out after the rain stops and street lights are few and far between.
Who wants to mail me rain boots?
I discovered a good portion of this the other night when I was making my way over to the Hotel Oloffson (a beautiful old, run-down gingerbread mansion--once a vacation palace to the presidents, now a hotel and low-key hangout for journalists and RAM fans--see link). Michael, Hervé, and I went there for their Monday night twoubadou performance.
I LOVE twoubadou! It's considered traditional Haitian music which includes guitar, drums, saxophone, accordion, maracas, banjo, and singing. There aren't many young people who play it anymore, so it's also fun to go see these old guys rock out. They're the cutest! And they still have moves! Crip Prestige (Haitian beer), the Oloffson porch, a slight breeze, some dancing, and of course, twoubadou, make for a great night. Next time I'll take some photos.
In other news, I am become my own ti menaj (little boyfriend), as I bought myself a bouquet of flowers. My students tell me that a beautiful woman in Haiti isn't supposed to buy herself flowers, but I could care less. They're pretty, they brighten up my room, make me smile, and it supports the guys who trek those flowers down from the mountains. Plus, I retort that if getting flowers the "right" way means having to get a REAL ti menaj who is possessive and jealous , then I am better off being my own boyfriend. They think I am totally NUTS! And I think I'm the best boyfriend I've ever had...well...minus the obvious setbacks.
Alright, I need to get some rest before a big day of teaching (superlatives for a few classes, and a podcast for the advanced group). Thanks for tuning in folks... A pi ta (Until later)!