Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day 4, 3/14: Sundays are Fundays

Sundays are a day-off. Or day on. This depends on your level of enthusiasm to get off base and explore the sun-blanketed and wonderful area of Leogane. So, with no less than three applications of sunscreen (30 spray, 30 cream, 85 spray) a sizable group of us hired a tap-tap and set off for the beach. This was not just a good beach, but a great beach. Not the beach that was super close, but nonetheless worth the 30 min ride.

I was really surprised by this wonderful little beach resort out past some of the farms of Leogane. Lots of pink. And decoupaged-tile lounges covered in palms and ventilated by the ocean breeze. The group of us swam, and swam, and swam- taking pictures with a waterproof camera, splashing, and generally just trying to find colder areas of water to cool us down. Swimming around a point revealed an even prettier cove featuring (unfortunately bleached) corals and a truck blasting reggeaton. I bought some hand painted-maracas for 200 gud... not bad! On the ride back for lunch I taught some of the other volunteers how to play 'ghost.'

Back at the base I saw Jeff playing a bossa nova guitar across the courtyard, and I thought, the MARACAS! I then joined in, and another person started tapping a clave pattern on the rebar... and pretty soon we had a nice little latin band going on. I also taught some flamenco palmas (syncopated clapping with a stereo effect), and that may, with practice, some out in our next jam.

After a long lunch we set back out on a tap-tap headed in the opposite direction- the mountains! It was nice to get up the hills and gain some perspective on the area. In general, the development is more sparse at higher elevations, so in some cases there are many structures still standing. Looking down across the valley, it was not hard to spot a tent city (look for the blue). Our hike then went up through a sunny little valley speckled with baby goats and the occasional cow. A longer hike would have revealed Jacamel on the other side of the ridge, but I have to save something for next Sunday.

When I got back I was pleasantly surprised to find the Canadian-camo tarp erected above the center of the courtyard... shining a mercifully large square of shade across the courtyard for the sunny hours. The rest of the night was spent watching a basketball game between HODR volunteers and INTERCOSS (Italian corp. of the UN). The Italians won! :/ (We're all winners through cooperation?)


Chelsea said...

Sounds like you are having an amazing and fulfilling first week. More pictures if possible! I'm loving living vicariously/digitally through your experience.

Keep it up!


Kathleen said...

I was wondering what the Haiti deal was . . . yay for sharing on the blog! It sounds like an amazing trip.