Saturday, August 20, 2011

Gelée Beach spectrum

Les Cayes, Haiti (where I live) is next to a few public beaches, and they can be crazy party hot spots or relaxing vacation destinations, in turns.

Gelée Beach is one of those places.

Last weekend, the town and people from all over Haiti came to Gelée to celebrate the Assumption of Mary. This Catholic holiday celebrates Mary's (as in Jesus' ma's) rise into Heaven. Catholicism is the official religion of Haiti, and I'm learning that Catholics and non-Catholics in Haiti are always excited for a reason to party. 

This event put the craziest shindig I attended in college to shame.

Digicel (Huge cell phone company in the Caribbean) sponsored much of the party, and there was live music, hundreds of people swimming in the ocean, mobs of dancers, drinkers, and people walking around selling whatever liquid courage you wanted. We went with some friends (including their toddler, MoMo, who was fascinated by everything) and sat at a restaurant overlooking the water and the party.

We ate goat, fried plantain, avocados, and piles of pikliz (my favorite food in Haiti-- a very spicy coleslaw-type topping). We drank Prestige, the beer of Haiti, and watched people trying to push through the crowds on motorcyles.

Just a few days later, this Friday, we returned to Gelée and had dinner with the director of our school. It was just us, a few couples, and small groups of teenagers on the beach.

I loved feeling like locals here--we were there for the party, and the chill of the week after.

Nathan looks over the water (and at the piles of trash left over from the fun of last weekend).

Boats on the shore at dusk.

Me with boats. Forrest Gump would say, "Thats ma boat," but I couldn't because it wasn't ma boat.

Sun casting colors on the clouds.

 The best dinner in Haiti so far: I had lobster seasoned with lime and peppers. Nathan had conch.

Places like this remind me of Haiti's beauty. It could be a tourist destination, not just for people wanting to "help" or "evangelize" but for people who just want to see a naturally gorgeous place.

Kreyol Vocab learned:
Lanbi: Conch
Woma: Lobster

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