When I found out about our cruise itineary I was most excited about the opportunity to go to Haiti. I have always had a fascination with Haiti. I was really hoping to be able to explore a little while we were there.
However, my dad made me promise I wouldn’t do anything dumb and I would stick with the tourists and stay safe.
Well, I did not really get a choice. We did not get to go to REAL Haiti. We went to fake Haiti. Cruise lines like to lease islands or certain areas from local governments and make their own paradise for their clientele, and that was our Haitian stop. We stopped in Labadee, Haiti.
This was our guide. It was an interesting tour to say the least. We were never quite sure how much he was paid to say, how much he was made to say, and how much was true.
According to him, he is thrilled to have the cruise lines there because of the income for Haiti. He has a job that can provide for his family because of it. At our first three stops on our tour he told us that Haiti was NOT that poor, and at the last three stops he told of of all the things that other people had done that made the people of Haiti poor. Like I said, it was INTERESTING!
The thing that blew my mind was the wall. There was a nice concrete wall surrounding the area for the tourists.
I, being ME after all, wanted to see what was beyond the wall.
Real Haiti was beyond the wall. Our guide had to come to work from his village by boat! Haitians were not allowed in the tourist area unless they had a job there. In the …however many years the cruise line has been coming there, there has never been an incident of crime within these borders. It is just hard for me to wrap my mind around. It is gorgeous without a doubt.
But it isn’t real. It is the prepared canvas that they want you to appreciate. I long to go back. My lifelong desire to Haiti has only strengthened. I want to see REAL Haiti. I want to see the real people. I would love to go on a missions trip there. It would be amazing!