You either love it, or you hate it in Haiti
We left Haiti in July 2003, after a little more than three years. Although I paid off my bets – Aristide hadn’t left yet – the president indeed didn’t complete his five year term. He went into exile early 2004, after the celebrations for 200 years of independence turned against him, and the internal discontent as well as international pressure to step back became too strong. Not that it made Haiti a better place. The downward spiral continued, and crime – especially the kidnappings for ransom, that had already started during our last few months in the country – soared. In June that year a UN peace keeping force was mobilized.
Perhaps we left at the right time – or perhaps one never leaves at the right time, in the case of a country like Haiti, there is always more to do. Fact is that we left a piece of our heart behind, with the wonderful people, people who would share always, with a guest, even with a ‘blanc’, never mind the poverty, never mind they had nothing to share. With this wonderful country, which despite the many shortcomings – the logistical nightmare of running a household, or traveling overland, the political instability – has left such a lasting impression on us.
They say you either hate it, or love it in Haiti. We loved it.