Here in Haiti, many things are different in many ways. Because a majority of the country lives in village environments, there are less stores and shops. Most household items can be found in roadside stands, or purchased during market day. You can find many, many things during market days, and it is fascinating just to drive by and look at all the different things.
Market days usually occur twice a week. The days they happen on depend on the village. Market days often appear chaotic; hundreds of people are walking in a very small area, while tap taps (a type of public transportation) attempt to weave their way through the crowd. The items in the market range from fresh fruits and vegetables, to phone chargers, to clothing, to pots and pans. Sometimes, you can even buy prescription drugs out of a large basket. You could find anything in a market, if you knew where to look.
Even on days without a market, some people keep stand open on the side of the road. These often have food. A majority of Haitian food is served with rice and beans, and fried plantains. Plantains are like small bananas, and when fried, taste like French fries. Bread and chicken are very important food staples. People also eat beef and goat. Personally, I don’t eat from stands on the side of the road. People may not wash their hands while preparing the food, which can spread disease. Haitians may not get sick when they eat it, but it is enough to make most Americans ill.
There are a few grocery stores in Peitionville, the upper class area of Port-au-Prince. It can be about a two hour drive from where we live in Titanyen, depending on the traffic. We buy our food from these stores, but we only go about once a month. The stock there is not consistent, and can sometimes cost more than double the American price. It is always interesting to see what food they have.
Haiti, being a third world country, operates very differently from the familiar business world of the States. Everything is run by individuals. Shops and stalls are how people make their living, and it is not uncommon to sit along the side of the road all day. It is a fascinating experience for anybody.
As with all blogs, I’d like to end with some prayer requests. First, please pray for the unhappiness the people have with the United Nations. Rioting is not uncommon here, and people are beginning to protest the U.N. and its presence. Also, please pray for all of us who are sick, myself included, so that we can be healed and able to work to the best of our ability. Finally, as always, please pray about finically assisting us in our journey here. As I said in this blog, groceries are very expensive, and the cost of living is high. Any help would be hugely appreciated. Thank you. Bondye beni ou, God bless you.
Contribute to Jacob’s Summer 2013 Intership Funds