Pie chart inspired by Ann Friedman.
I’ve been riding moto-taxis every day this week to and from Noailles, in Croix-des-Bouquets, where I’m spending the week working with cut-metal artisans.
Motos are by far the fastest (though certainly not the safest) way to get around the narrow, transportation-challenged, blokis-clogged streets of Port-au-Prince. There is a death-defying smugness to weaving through a thicket of idling Land Cruisers, missing collisions by inches.
Alongside the adrenaline rush, I love expanding my knowledge of the PaP urban landscape, getting to know new routes and observing the rhythms of daily life:
- In my opinion, Croix-des-Bouquets has the second-best painted tap-taps in the greater PaP area. My favorite is one that features a portrait of Serena Williams about to rip a backhand. I also appreciated the Legolas/Jesus piece below.
- On Monday, the roadside drainage ditches (canals? open sewers?) of Croix-des-Bouquets were overflowing with plastic bottles. Disheartening, but unsurprising in a country with very limited trash disposal infrastructure. On Tuesday, backhoes and people were digging all the sludge-covered bottles and trash out of the ditches. Today, the piles of garbage sludge lined the streets. I’m curious what will happen next: if the trash will be removed, or if it will be allowed to slowly tumble back into the ditches.
- On Tuesday, the road was blocked by a manifestasyon (protest) outside a high school. Students were protesting because they have no teachers: the state-funded school doesn’t have enough money to pay teacher salaries, even though students also pay to attend this public school.
- I have yet to ask my moto driver to stop so I can try on a romper. I’ll keep you updated as this situation unfolds.
- Every morning as we take the final turn into Noailles, I can’t help smiling as I hear the ting-ting-ting of hammers on steel, the sound of cut-metal artisans practicing their craft. More on this soon!