Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Visit Haiti

In the year, I have had multiple friends head to the Dominican Republic for vacations.  I get why they go there.  It's beautiful.  When doing a price comparison, DR vacations probably rate as an inexpensive island vacation.

And yet, I am jealous.   Jealous a bit for the normal reasons we as humans are jealous.  Jealous that they get time away with their spouse.  Jealous that they are off on an adventure.  Jealous that they are fortunate enough to be able to afford such a trip.

But my jealousy also comes from another place.  I am jealous for Haiti.  My daughter was born about 40 miles from the Dominican border.    I am jealous that Haiti is not the DR, that people don't post vacation pictures from Haiti.  I know it's not exactly practical, that there is more involved than just hopping across the border, but I can't help but wonder what would happen if those who traveled to the DR chose to spend one day, just one day in Haiti.  The impact for the Haitian tourism industry would probably cause major economic reverberations for a country that is perhaps the poorest in the Western Hemisphere.

Or better yet, what if people actually planned a trip to Haiti simply for the purpose of tourism?  I'm sure there are people who doubt the beauty of Haiti.  Instead of bringing to mind pristine beaches, lush vegetation, and aqua colored oceans, people are stuck on the pictures that most often get tossed around of Haiti.  It's scenes of overpopulation, starving kids, and a devastating earthquake.  It doesn't help that many people remember the Duvalier's reign of terror and the multiple coups that followed their ousting.  People are quick to assume that Haiti is unstable and unsafe.  However, our experience has been that if you are wise about how you travel and what you are doing, you will be just fine.  As to the beauty part of it, that's actually one of the parts of our trips to Haiti that makes me regretful.  Every trip we have ever taken has been a "business" type trip, where we were limited by wanting to be near to our kids' orphanages and spending time there.

That doesn't mean I don't have my list of places I want to go.  First on my list is an ocean front resort.  Wahoo Bay, Kaliko Beach Club and Oceanview Haiti are two that have gotten good reviews from others within the adoption community who have stayed there.  Club Indigo also gets good reviews and is currently featured on Groupon, with an all inclusive stay starting at $149 a night.  Also on my list is Bassin Bleu.  This natural wonder of Haiti features turquoise green waters and waterfalls,an oasis of sorts tucked in between trees and rocks.  (Check out a great panorama of it here.)  I'd love to go hiking and do some ocean exploring too.  Marina Blue Haiti has lots of options for outdoors exploration.  Most people are also unaware of Haiti's impressive history.  Haiti is part of Hispanola which means part of it's coasts were "discovered" by Christopher Columbus.  (A recently discovered shipwreck off of the coast was thought to be Columbus' ship, the Santa Maria.  That theory has since been dispelled but that doesn't change Haiti's rich history)  Conquered by the French who imported African slaves, it become the world's first black democracy via a slave revolt in 1804.  The Citadelle was a fortress created by the newly independent nation to protect against a potential attack by Napoleon.  It's on my list of places to go too.

Perfect for snorkeling, fishing, jet skiing, and more
Bassin Bleu
The Citadelle

No comments: