Haiti Day 2

What a great day! We woke up early, had breakfast at the hotel and then travelled by bus to the Citadel. It was amazing to drive through the different towns on the way. So many different smells and scenes than we are used to: children getting washed by there mothers in outdoor wash basins, the trash along the coastline with goats and pigs intermixed, the women carrying heavy loads on their heads with perfect posture and balance, and the tap-taps, motorbikes and other vehicles going in every which way. We slowly made our way out to the rural area that surrounds the citadel and the scene changed to open fields peppered with palm trees, with cows grazing. We quickly learned that Haiti is a beautiful country with a diverse landscape. Once we finally arrived at the Citadel we climbed on all climbed on horses and rode up the mountain. It was wonderful to see the view from the trail as the horses carried us. When we got to the top we were given a guided tour all around the grounds and throughout the structure. We learned that the Citadel was built to help protect Haiti from any possible French invasion, because at the time Haiti had recently earned its independence. We also heard the folklore of how Henri Christophe, Haiti’s president, committed suicide by shooting himself with a silver bullet and that his remains are buried somewhere on the Citadel grounds. After the tour most of us walked back down the mountain where we loaded back into the van and headed to the Sans-Souci Palace. This was a magnificent structure that housed Henri Christoph and his wife, Marie-Louise. We walked over the grounds and took pictures. It was a marvelous day and a wonderful experience to see the local people of Cap Haitian and to learn more of the history of beautiful Haiti!

-Jessica McDermott

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