A weekend in the mountains

After a weekend in the mountains, it’s back to work in the hot and noisy PAP. It certainly wasn’t easy after staring at this for two days:

It really was some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen. It’s not really what you would expect to see here, and it was refreshing to get away from the piles of trash that are everywhere in the cities and breathe some fresh air.

On Friday afternoon David, Aaron, Jeanne, Karl, Ton and I all set out on our adventure. Our destination was a small town in the mountains called Furcy, and we hitchhiked the whole way there. Four different people stopped to give us a ride and they were all really nice. The last two drivers we had actually went well out of their way to take us further than where they were planning on going. The last driver took us all the way to Furcy, which probably added an extra hour to his trip. Getting to the mountains was just as fun as actually being in the mountains – there really is no comparison to riding in the back of a pickup truck through windy mountain roads.

By the time we got to our campsite it was already dark. We set up our tents, started a fire, and settled in for a night of relaxing. If I was missing New England Fall weather at all, the weather in Furcy definitely helped. It got down to the 50s at night and for the first time in three weeks I didn’t wake up sticky with sweat. Saturday started bright and early thanks to the cows moo-ing around our campsite. I got out of my tent to see three Haitian boys staring at us. They had been there for a few hours, just standing there, staring. Who would have thought that a few “blancs” camping would be that interesting? After we had packed up our things and our audience had lost interest, we headed down into the valley where there was a river. We walked along that for a while, stopping at nice spots along the way and trying to avoid the watchful eyes of the people that lived in the area. Whenever we were spotted by the locals, kids would come running down to where we were. Sometimes they would follow us. They never really said much or did anything to bother us, but it’s still really hard to enjoy yourself when you’ve got a crowd of people just staring at you awkwardly. Sometimes staring back will get them to go away, but usually the winner of the staring contest is the Haitian.

After a day of walking around and relaxing by the river, we decided to just head back to our old campsite for the second night. A risky decision, given the fact that we had been discovered by the Haitians that morning and would most likely have an audience at least twice the size this time. Hiking out of the valley was tough – the hillsides were super steep and went almost straight up at times.

To all of our surprise, we woke up on Sunday to find no Haitians staring at us. Maybe we were just too boring for them. We ate as much of the food that we had left as we could and headed out. Since it was Sunday we were expecting to have a harder time hitchhiking, but I don’t think any of us were expecting to walk four hours before catching a ride. After the uphill hike on Saturday and the four hours of walking down the steep mountain roads on Sunday, my legs are still sore. It all made for a great weekend though. Imagine spending two days with five of the most eccentric people you know, combine that with a couple dozen flasks of rum and lots of laughs… there’s no way you could have a bad time.

In addition to Monday being Halloween, it was also Aaron and Jeanne’s last night in Haiti after a year or more in the country. A party quickly developed and continued on way past the start of quiet hours at 9:00. Combine that with loud music and singing coming from the church next door starting at 5:30 this morning (really), and you’ve got a base full of people doing a whole lot of nothing tonight. My Ben & Jerry’s ice cream craving has reached a critical level, and I literally have not been able to think of anything else for the past three hours, so I’m hoping a good movie will do the trick. Doubtful, but it’s worth a try.

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Comments
One Response to “A weekend in the mountains”
  1. Claudia says:

    What an adventure! Love your writing style. You haven’t missed much of a New England autumn, by the way…the leaves have been pounded off as quickly as they turn by rain and wind and….SNOW! Sounds like you made a great trade off. Can’t wait to read the next installment. Will it report on a certain someone’s birthday?!? xxooxx CJ

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