A couple of weeks ago, I took a journey to Haiti with a group of my friends with BlackCelebrityGiving.com. This was a mission trip with some spare time to see some of the beauty Haiti has to offer. With over 30 women, you know it was an eventful trip.
We stayed in a neighborhood called Petion-Ville at the Best Western Premiere. The hotel was very nice inside and the food was amazing!
Port Au Prince
Busy, Busy, Busy!! When I arrived to the airport, I was immediately reminded of Ghana. It was so many people, everywhere. I wasn’t overwhelmed but most people probably would be. My initial ride was in the dark to the hotel so I couldn’t really see much except thousands of people in the street and on the sides of the roads selling items. Everyone was selling something- from fruit, to electronics, to used clothing, to new clothing.
During the day, everything was just so busy!! When you are driving, it’s thousands of people in the streets selling items so you have to wait for people to move. Definitely a country of people who are GRINDING!
The people of Haiti were very friendly everywhere we went. Didn’t have any bad encounters. Definitely learn some Creole or French before you go. At least learn the basics. There were many times there was a huge language barrier for me but eventually, we would get each other. I feel like if you go to a country where most people speak another language, you should learn some of that language so you can at least try to converse in their language. I don’t expect people in other countries to speak English.
If you want to go to a dope lounge, check out Asu in the Karibe hotel. This is a rooftop lounge. When we went, the music was great- all types of genres. It reminded me of a NY rooftop lounge. Asu is super classy and I noticed there its all races. Very multicultural crowd. Ran into a couple of Americans there. That was something I hadn’t seen when I was going around town. The drinks were good, but I missed out on being able to try out the food. It was a great evening for sure. The ambience was great.
Whatever you do, make sure you go here for dinner. Get there before the sun is setting so you can see the amazing views. We went at night, and even though we couldn’t see details, just being up there and seeing all the lights was a great sight. You could see for miles and miles away.
I got coconut shrimp, Goat, and of course…rum punch lol.
The journey to Jacmel was adventurous. You are traveling through curvy mountains for hours from PAP. Be prepared for the journey. On the ride, you will see the people start to thin out and it’s not as hectic. We did a tour through the city center of Jacmel and got to learn the history about this beautiful town. The building structures from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s were still erect, yet needed a bit of work to revive the area. This area was near the water so we got a chance to walk along the sides, enjoying the sun setting. This is where I made my first purchase. In PAP, I didn’t run into any markets with things for tourists. In Jacmel, this is where I saw all of the beautiful art. I purchased 2 paintings for my house. Definitely check out the art here and know that you will be paying higher prices than in PAP.
I am a market fiend. I love to go to a market and get a thrill out of bargaining. My only “bad” experience was in Kenya at a market where it was beyond overwhelming but I still got a great deal. In Haiti, art is the big thing. Haiti is known for their amazing sculptures, paintings, and other forms of great art.
In PAP I went to the market the day before I left and had a great time. I love talking to people, exchanging stories about our culture, and learning more about their work. After seeing hundreds of beautiful paintings, I did my negotiation thing and came back with 3 paintings and 2 ceramic paintings for the price I paid for one painting in Jacmel lol.
lol Most paintings I purchased were of markets so clearly I have a thing for markets.
Now, I will admit, things weren’t always peachy in Haiti. My group had several issues with van breakdowns and being stuck on the side of the road to running into a protest after hours of driving to the beach only having to turn around 20 minutes before our destination to make the long journey back. I definitely will be giving Haiti another visit. After all, my main mission to go there was to help the people and I hope that the children at the orphanage and the families at the community center were happy.
Look out for my experience doing missions in Haiti.