After a harrowing day one of arrival.. The work begins. Last night ended with the Brother I am working with Samuel Darguin and a few comrades discussing life politics and even strolling at a late night watering hole in Croix De Bouquets. Amidst much laughter and Ole school Cokes and Sprites in Glass longneck bottles we learned about the program me and everyone’s viewpoints. A relaxing end to an otherwise stressful arrival
Upon awakening, I felt better in that my body got some sleep after it took a few hours as the night air was lovely.. but the bugs..well. yeah lol. Sun blazing a good 95F outside..and what am I wearing.. Khakis and a long sleeve tshirt… A little paranoid of getting bit by something.. a LITTLE! Nonetheless I began walking around the compound and photographing the building I am residing in which is to become The Alpha Academy. A procedure I have done countless times.. photographing an existing condition building to prepare what we call as-built drawings (as it already stands). This however was a little different. Walking around and taking a forensic approach to photography looking for the story of the building and how it was built and what was where I noticed difference in building culture immediately. Do I agree with it all, no, but it withstood the earthquake so something was done right and I wanted to know the story of how. After gleaning as much info as the photos could tell me I stopped to wipe sweat, as I was sweating like Oprah in a room full of ribs, I was taken aback by the children. Watching them in a makeshift outdoor classroom learning their numbers and lessons; a few peered back at me. Black man with a different language and slim glasses taking pictures. I wonder how they perceived me. These kids had seen the worse of things and yet the smile and play innocently.. and have their youth and innocence! Couldn’t help but to wonder how their lives are like versus the youth in Chicago with extraneous gang violence. Also I was taken by a young lady that was teacher. Age no more than 16.. No “formal” education, as in college, certifications and other things that take your money to verify the obvious, instead just a passion to inspire the youth! And to think I am responsible for THEIR space, humbling and putting even more focus on my agenda
Afterwards, the good brother Darguin took me to market. Armed with my camera and curiosity, I went about to see what I could capture. Life in Croix De Bouquet? Yes it its different but it was the nuances that showed me that we are all people.. the everyday person is hustling to sell you something! Anything they got it. After visiting NYC I thought that was hustling. This was “grinding” on steroids. Coming up to moving cars selling water in a bag (interesting concept to us I know) we breeze through traffic and lemme say this.. Haitian traffic is NOTHING to play with.. New Yorkers, Chicagoans NONE of us can complain.. there is no lights.. no crossing guards.. just every man woman child and car for themselves
Road rage is epic! Nonetheless are driver navigated while I clicked away. After getting back I realized that in Haiti your car needs 3 things. All terrain capability, air conditioning, and a DAMN GOOD HORN lol.
Afterwards we traversed the hills for banks by foot… in a neighborhood-esque location.. hot from walking it was good to take in the feel of everyday people. And even in a area like Haiti you see simple things like school boys trying to impress school girls. Guys on the block talking about sports, girls.. Older women shopping for items all interesting to take in (don’t do it in the street if they hit you aint no All State commercial here)
Finally hit a bank.. and the first thing I notice is outside the bank security guards with pump action shot guns and look like they enjoy shooting. Got frisked and went in.. Customer service.. FAIL!
After that I went with the Brother to assist in getting internet for the house (never complain about Comcast again, I cant tell you what he paid.. but he paid a WHOLE helluva lot.
From the day.. my camera SEEMS to be a casualty. DSLR has been a casualty of humidity. Not working right now.. that camera cost me a children or three.. so pray that it gets better.. as of now I am debriefing and partaking in Haitian food.. (I did find a Mountain Dew today though so Im good) Tomorrow I measure and venture who knows where.. but I will say that today telling folks that I am the architect or designer for the school has brought many reactions.. again proud to be who I am and using my skills to help.. God is Good
Side note, I saw a flying cockroach.. that thing was HUGE.. i mean it had bones when we smashed it.! It offended my soul lol.. I aint never used OFF so much in my life lol
Day 3 on deck