We went to Cabaret today. While the name sounds lively and upbeat, it is unfortunately not. It’s a village in a banana plantation about 20 miles North of Port-au-Prince.
There is actually an old water wheel there that dates back to the slave days. It was used to crush sugar cane. I imagine there was a water source running through there, but it’s certainly long gone and the water wheel sits on dry land. I can only imagine the poor treatment the slaves received there. I imagine life is not much better for them now.
We did get our first view of the water today, though. It looks gorgeous with the mountains in the background. It’s such a shame that Haiti’s tourist industry is non-existant. Even if you could build a resort in this area, you would have to fly people into Port-au-Prince and the drive to the Cabaret area would chase away all but the heartiest of souls.
I call today our “Huck Finn” day. There was a lot more open space but the poverty was clearly as severe as anywhere. Today was market day about a 30 minute walk away. The children of Cabaret were a little more restless. There were packs of boys dressed in torn and dirty clothes. Overall, the health issues seemed more severe than the past two days. We saw lots of blindness from undetected glaucoma. The eye doctors also saw some odd cornial disease that they don’t see in the U.S. And, the skin doctor saw some pretty severe infections. One had flies in it.
This has been hard, back breaking work. I call it the best trip I’ve ever wanted to come home from. Tonight we celebrate our work with a dinner out. Tomorrow we head to the airport at 9:30AM for our 3:00PM flight. I can’t wait to place my two feet on US soil but my head and heart will always be in Haiti.