(Haitian billboard juxtaposed above refugee tents)
My colleague and I, Georgianne Nienaber, accompanied by our "Fixer", Andre, just spent four days investigating conditions in Haiti in whirlwind fashion, driving east and west from Port-au-Prince, when not in Port-au-Prince itself investigating matters and conducting interviews.
One can get a good sense of life in Haiti just by seeing the sights along Highway One, as one passes by Haitians of various type and persuasion standing in front of roadside open markets or trudging down the oft-times muddy road edges, often carrying or wheel-barreling produce or materials. We rambled by businesses, a military bivouac, smaller refugee camps identifiable by the iconic blue tarp tent constructions signifying temporary (or not so temporary) shelters, as well as past collapsed or semi-collapsed buildings and landmarks, grim reminders of the horrific January 12th earthquake, all set against the backdrop of lush, verdant tropical growth rising pronounceably as the rainy season increases.
Welcome to Highway One, Haiti:
Passing a Red-Cross truck, not sure from which country.
We're following traffic coming onto Highway One. Note the rock debris in the street. Rocks, gravel and boulders often spill over into the streets.
Passing make-shift businesses and houses still on the way to Highway One:
We're beginning to fly down Highway One now. Note the mountains in the distance. Haiti is a mountainous country:
Passing a military base on the way, maybe American, or French:
Racing along Highway One:
A boy watching two others, one of whom is pushing a wheel barrel, a key conveyance device in Haiti:
Passing a tap-tap that is letting people off and on. Tap-taps (camionettes) are Haiti's colorful shared taxis that are privately owned but publicly operated:
A man riding a donkey with saddle bags: