Jakmèl (Yaquimel)

Trip Start Oct 25, 2007
Trip End Oct 28, 2007

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Flag of Haiti  ,
Sunday, November 4, 2007

We spent 2 days in Jacmel (Jakmèl or Yaquimel), a haitian beach town on the Carribean side of the island of Hispaniola.  On route, through the winding mountain roads, we saw people walking alongside visiting each other, chatting, exchanging goods, and bathing in the black water of the street gutter...

The hotel we stayed at, Cap Lamandou, was a good place despite the power outages each night.  The food was great.  I had delicious pumpkin stew for breakfast made by Mimi. The other foreigners there were UN police officers and Christian missionaries. 

The swimming pool here too was clean and refreshing from the heat as the day touring was building up a sweat! The beach below was not a private beach, and as such, it was a bit polluted with organic matter, so we didn't go past ankle deep to feel the waters.  The interests in town included a colorful haitian funeral parlor, artist studios, steelpan drum masks and wall decor, tasty goat cuisine, and voudou temples.  Because of our local escort Pascal, we were able to enter into these places and take few photos with permission. 

On the last night we were entertained by 4 musicians, as the lightning approached from the Dominican Republic.  We were told of a forecast for rain that night.  So I was hoping that at least the rain would hold off for our drive back to Port-au-Prince on Sunday, as mudslides are common. 

The travel back was good - roads were clear.  Not until I arrived back to New York City late that Sunday, did I catch on the news that this rain - was really forecasted as a tropical storm "Noel" - later to become a hurricane!  Fortunately for me, my flight happened to be the last one out of Haiti.  Hours later the airport was closed for days.  I was relieved to hear my friends who stayed back there, survived the storm's mudslides. I made it to my first day at work as scheduled, but often thought about the people who died there, and how Kristina was now helping mudslide survivors.

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