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Preparing for my Haiti Trip

As most of you are aware, I am planning on volunteering in Haiti and so I’ve embarked on a data gathering journey to learn about the country. Based on the many conversations and messages, I am not alone in wanting to learn more this country that seems to be constantly ravaged by disasters. For those not familiar with the country, here is a map that I have been using to orientate myself:  http://geology.com/world/haiti-satellite-image.shtml

Flying into Haiti, the main airport is located about half an hour outside the capital of Port au Prince. Buses and taxis are the primary tourist transport and cash rules with very few being able to take a credit card. By all report, Port au Prince is another city, commercialized and a hub of energy. The hotels are more expensive here than the rest of the country but they all seem to offer Internet access, either in business centers, common areas or rooms. 

Like most tropical countries, there is the risk of mosquito-born diseases and so protective steps will need to be taken. It seems that Haiti also doesn’t have the economic means to have reliable and clean water. As such, I will be traveling with a water filter that can also filter viruses such Hep B and cholera. 

The Citadel and San-Souci palace ruins are UNESCO heritage sites. Both of these are located up on the northern side of the country and I have a choice of taking a 35 minute flight or a 8.5 hour bus ride….I think I will be flying. Booking a flight on Sunrise is very interesting because they have 5 economy classes and two super-economy classes. I have emailed them and tried their online chat interface to determine what the differences are with no luck. So I booked and we will find out.

Here are some of the articles that I found that provide some great pictures and information. 

https://msu.edu/~williss2/carpentier/part1/citadel.html

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/180

Jacumel is one of the most popular beach destinations in Haiti and boasts a wonderful protected beach. There are quite a few vacation homes here and some are available for rent at pretty good prices. The downside is that some of the locations are littered due the waste collection & processing infrastructure lacking.

As I continued my research, some the best beaches in the Caribbean are on an island called Ile a Vache. The island is off the southern point and based on all accounts, it is quite an effort to get to the island. There used to be an airport on the mainland of Haiti but the runways were damaged by the earthquake. So the primary transport mechanism is by bus with 4.5 hour bone shaking ride followed by a water taxi to the island. I think I’m going to try this  

Here are some photos of the beaches on the island and a little bit of explanation.

http://misslucieinhaiti.tumblr.com/post/68081712148/welcome-to-ile-a-vache-a-hidden-treasure-in

And another post….https://thenerdynomad.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/ile-a-vache_guide/

The next post will be more focused on the volunteering side.  🙂 

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