I decided to leave. Too depressing. Too sad.
Below is the massive UN barracks in downtown Cap Haitien. Complete with machine gun towers. This is as close as I dared get to snap photos. The UN soldiers here were from Nepal. It said so on the front gate and the Nepalese flag was flying behind the gate. I saw some off duty soldiers in the park out front and their t-shirts said “Nepal Mission”. (See Note 1)
And the UN presence was everywhere. UN jeeps, UN troop carriers and UN tanks rumbling to and fro on the streets of Cap Haitien. Blue helmets everywhere. (See Note 2, 2A)
The whole scene was starting to bring me down. The garbage, the filth, the food, the sketchiness, the sadness and the fucking UN presence, like whipped cream on top of the whole bloody mess.
There was a bus leaving back to Santiago in the DR the next morning at 8am. I decided to be on it. And I was.
What follows is a series of photos and videos I took from my window on the bus. I just snapped away, so excuse the shitty quality. The bus window was dirty and wet….. it was still raining……but somehow it made the videos more poignant. See for yourself.
These dudes were parked in the parking lot of the Haitian border immigration building. I stepped off the bus to smoke a cigarette and kept glancing at them. The one on the right was definitely glancing at me as well……probably wondering, ‘what the hell?’ I got back on the bus a took my seat, as we took off I flashed a peace sign at them, big and high on the window, they both smiled and waved.
I do not envy them, nor their mission in this country.
If you are wondering what I did with my pasta/ketchup/hot dog breakfast……I gave it to a Haitian kid, a little cold but untouched, at the border. Big smile, big ‘merci!’
Good bye and good luck Haiti. You deserve better.