My family and I embarked on a trip to Haiti for our spring break vacation in April of 2012. My father was born in Haiti and thought it’d be wonderful to return and visit our family. On the morning of our arrival, we were greeted at the airport with lively music and the warm Caribbean breeze. Lucky for us we arrived on the weekend of Easter Sunday, which is the time of great celebration.
Around the Lent season leading up to Easter, it is the Haitian tradition to hold a carnival called Kanaval or Raram. This consists of parades down the street with music, food, singing and dancing. The women and little children are dressed in native costumes and do routine dances which are influenced by the religion Vodou.
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My family and I rented a part of a balcony in a hotel to watch the show. Hundreds and hundreds of people were involved in this parade and a huge group came to our area to perform for us. They sang songs, danced, and collected any tips given to them. This parade lasted from dusk to dawn all day long throughout the streets and neighborhoods. It was truly an amazing experience to see the beautiful culture of the Haitian people.
While on our vacation we stayed at my grandfather’s house with many other family members. Easter Sunday we had a special dinner and spent the time with each other. The following day we learned that my grandmother owns her own salt mine where rock salt is made and decided to take a trip to go see it. We drove off to the Grann Saline where the salt mine was located. Most of the salt rocks were still forming yet it was interesting to learn how salt is formed and processed.
My father decided to spend a day at a resort called Club Indigo. It is a hotel resort for people who are on vacation or just want to spend a day at the beach and pool. The beach was a mix of sand and pebbles, and a clear serene ocean. The setting was just beautiful with palm trees all around, just perfect for relaxation. We spent the time swimming and enjoyed the buffet at the end of the day. I also tried many different foods that are special dishes of Haiti.
On our way home we passed by another resort that had a museum on the history of Haiti. They depicted the slavery the people endured and how they used to pick the fields. On my trip to Haiti not only did I enjoy the time spent with my family but I learned a lot from the experience. As we drove down the busy roads all we saw were people trying to make a living selling food or products. The city we stayed in was Saint Marc which is the town surrounded by mountains. We saw people actually living in shacks and huts along the mountain side. It made me appreciate the life I live and realize there are people who do not live such a perfect life. I saw children who were less fortunate than me and gave them some candy. It was a small act to me but the smile on their faces showed it meant a lot to them. I had a great time on my trip and learned about things I didn’t know and surely cannot wait to return!
Here is a link to the Haitian Carnival.
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