UN Soldier in Cap-Haitien
Wow, the trip back to the border was a speedy 2 hours. Itâ€™s the type of drive that SUVs are made for. TiDane, Madame Michel and her husband accompany us to see us off and make sure Saul gets back alright. Saul lives in Washington DC with his wife and kids. Heâ€™s currently in Haiti trying to help his eldest 2 children get visas to come to the States. It is a bit frustrating how lack of a communist dictator makes this process so much harder for Haitians. His Mitsubishi makes for a mighty nice ride given the road conditions.
We get stopped on the way by the Haitian police. Saul says itâ€™s the first time that Haitian police officers have been genial/polite to him. Is it better training, that they are having a good day, that there are two white men in the car, the UN presence? Beats me. They request his license and registration. Why? Who knows. They ask for passports from Bill and Pete. I reach for mine and Madame Michel hides my hands. Duh, I think. If you can blend in, blend in. Sometimes it is much less trouble.
After that, it is fairly smooth sailing except for a scare with the battery about 200 meters away from the immigration office. We say our goodbyes and shortly we are back in the Dominican Republic. I’m sad to leave.
Again there is that shock of the massive jump in development. Here there are beggars. There werenâ€™t really any in Cap. Itâ€™s odd how pan-handling occurs at that weird intersection between rich and poor. What is also interesting is that either because I am a woman and/or because I am Haitian, people expect more sympathy from me. My problem is that I hate being rude and this is what starts the endless dance. It takes me a while to realize that I just have to be cold and curt for the interchange to end. For the kids, the whole process is like a sales pitch and there are measuring up the psychology of the prospect, me. Everything short of an outright â€œNoâ€ is a maybe. After a few more passport checks for me (not Bill and Pete of course), we on our Caribe Tours bus and moving west.