Update: Home From Haiti (This Contrast May Kill Me)

In All Topics, Featured, Haiti, Personal by Ryan15 Comments

Culture-shock is a bitch. Well, it’s now dawned on me that reverse culture-shock is an even BIGGER bitch.

My mind buzzes in and out like static on an old television set. I am standing on cold granite surrounded on three sides by polished steel. Staring aimlessly out the thick glass storefront, I fight to keep my eyes from slamming shut. My knees feel weak and my stomach twisted.

Robotic beings flutter and frolic by me to grope shiny aluminum clad gadgets, gizmos, and iThingy-mabobbers (you can guess where I work). Ritzy sports cars drive passed, posh people and their purse poodles strut by, and everyone has a Starbucks coffee glued to their mouth.

These images relayed to my muddled brain seem as if I’m in a Hunter S. Thompson novel — except I’m not on any hallucinogens, I’m just mentally and physically exhausted to the ends of the surreal spectrum.

American Airlines Haiti

Less than 24hrs prior I was in the capital city of Haiti, Port Au Prince, barreling down the dusty roads past houses made of cinderblocks with no glass windows. Colorful tap-tap trucks hauled 20+ people around like a rolling sardine can. People sat under the hot sun attempting to make a few dollars on a marvelous piece of artwork birthed straight from their calloused hands.

The difference was that these people with the little they had were infinitely more happy than a guy in a $1,000 suit that  drove by in a Mercedes-Benz.

 My brain is having a melt-down processing this culture mind-f**k.

Driving through port au prince

My flight landed at 2am that morning. For the past 10 days I had been non-stop filming a documentary all over the western half of Hispaniola with my good friend David and Viky who is leading the project there (if you haven’t read the run down on it, check it out).

It was endless in-the-moment-run-and-gun filmmaking at it’s finest, but it definitely took a toll on my body.

Most mornings I was up at 5am to film time-lapses of the sunrise. If not that, it was to get prepared for the interviews with high-up government officials from the Mayor of Cap Haitian to the Ministry of Energy. Most nights I was going to sleep at 2am after grubbing down and discussing the days events with each other.

Or just talking about the amazing things we had done that day.

We drove, hiked, walked, ran, crawled and swam, and chillaxed all over the Northern territory; from bustling cities to white sand beaches. We traversed up steep mountains, across arid plains, through rolling valleys, and over azure blue ocean to areas that resembled Jurassic Park.

(I Spy...a T-Rex!)

(I Spy…a T-Rex!)

Hell, we even clip-clopped up a 3,000ft mountain to massive stone castle on a scrawny horse.

All the while recording the beauty Haiti has to offer under the surface of all the media fed negativity.

500GB worth. Woo.

Today, I have recovered some of my energy back so I could write an update to you all. We’ll be beginning the lengthy process of sorting the videos and photos and mapping out the documentary in the coming weeks.

Below I’ll be listing some of the gnarly articles, videos, and photo essays you can expect this month as a theme my blog around my trip to Haiti for March. I hope you are ready to have world opinions of Haiti rocked and see some amazing things!

Coming Soon…

 

TALES

  • First impressions of Haiti
  • Horseback to La Citadelle, Fortress of the North
  • The Mountains and Valleys To Cap-Haïtian
  • Myth of the Blood Sucking Demon
  • Real Street Food of Haiti
  • A Walk around Belly Beach
  • From the Mouths of Haitians: Progress
  • Hilarious Things We Encountered
  • Real Haitians Aren’t Allowed on this Haitian Beach?
  • In Retrospect: The Pearl of the Caribbean 1950’s
  • Why do Haitian’s Hate Photos? It’s Obvious.
  • Haitian’s Should Be Professional Rally Car Drivers

 

GUIDES

  • Must Know Phrases in Creole
  • How to Barter like a Haitian
  • What to Pack for Haiti
  • Haiti Survival Guide 101
  • Where to Go when You Go to Haiti

 

PHOTO ESSAYS

  • Belly Beach, a Slice of Paradise
  • Tap-Tap Trucks
  • Living the Life in Labadee
  • Palais de Sans Souci
  • Inside a Haitian Cemetery

 

(Mis) Adventures

  • Oops! This is a Whore-house, Not a Hotel!
  • Broken Engine…Stranded in the Caribbean
  • A Deadly Drive down the Mountain to the Capital

 

VIDEOS

  • Hectic Life in Port Au Prince
  • Tour of a Haitian Market
  • La Citadelle
  • Belly Beach & Labadee
  • Port Au Prince
  • Cap-Haïtian

And so many more to come. This is just off the top of my head, but I have plenty!

What would you like to see/know about Haiti from my adventure?

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Josh

    I wouldn’t really know where to start with Haiti… Could you give us a kind of taster platter? I look forward to everything your gonna be writing about. It’s good to have a reality check every so often – especially when everyone around you is lacking in a bit of perspective.

    Hope the reverse culture shock isn’t too much of a downer for you.

    1. Author
      JustChuckinIt

      Josh, thanks. Glad you’re looking forward to some of the posts coming. At the bottom of this article is a list and I’ll be doing a few featurettes on different locales in Haiti. Maybe after that you’ll be able to find out all the information you’ll want to know!

  2. Wends of Journeys and Travels

    This is an inspiring post on Haiti, in the stark realities we live in today and we are grateful for the faith they placed on this great nation. Superb and yes, Jesus’ images is everywhere in Haiti as I saw in so many photos and videos.

    Great mate that you went there and capture this for us.

  3. keri

    AHHH! just saw the date of this!! wait — how will I get all those posts in time for my upcomign week!?!?! :):) that will take days! this blog is amazing. love the photos and your humor.
    Ok, after a week in Hinche, I head to PAP and Jacmel for Saturday/Sunday/flight leaves Monday afternoon…worth it to go 5 hours in a Tap Tap to get to Cap-Haitien overnite? 10 hours seems like a LOT to do the Citadelle and Bassin Blue. Any off-the-beaten-path or unknown hotels, restaurants, places not to miss in PAP or the areas surrounding there? jacmel etc. THANKS SO MUCH for your input.

  4. keri

    for the record, my abs and legs (and face!) may not look like they
    did back in the GLORY days of the 80’s, but I do have better hair than that creature above for my photo. Whatever on that!! :):)

    1. Author
      JustChuckinIt

      haha, Oh Keri it’s just a hand-drawn net gremlin…sorry it’s a tad bit odd but I’m sure you are still ravishing!

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