Haiti and Me: Tap Taps, Art & People


Art created from strips of what appears to be tree bark
Haitian art created from strips of what appears to be tree bark

Day II away from home and there’s so much to see and do in Haiti.  But one of the main things that stand out for me so far is this: if you have to move something from point A to point B and you have no car, you just put whatever it is on top of your head and walk!  Sometimes you put your load on top of the public transportation (known as Tap Taps) but the goal is to get your ware to the strategic location a.s.a.p. – no excuses!  We even saw a man with a large stove on his head calmly walking in the street but didn’t get to take a photo to share here.

Well as soon as the sun came up, people were walking the streets and at a very brisk rate. These photos below were taken from my hotel room early in the morning.

Have no car, will still travel - with something to carry
Have no car, will still travel – with something to carry
Head power - these women make it look so easy
Head power – these women make it look so easy
Tap Tap with bags on top
Tap Tap with bags on top

 

You can’t go to Haiti without seeing a Tap Tap! They are everywhere!  To help me define this type of vehicle and transportation for you, here’s what wikipedia.org had to say:

Tap taps are gaily painted buses or pick-up trucks that serve as share taxis in Haiti. They may also be referred to as camionette. Literally meaning “quick quick”, these vehicles for hire are privately owned and ornately decorated. They follow fixed routes, won’t leave until filled with passengers, and their passengers can disembark at any point in the journey. Often painted with religious names or slogans, the tap tap is known for its lavish decoration, and many feature wild colours, portraits of famous people, and intricate, hand-cut wooden window covers.

The pics below are from wikipedia.org as well because I am yet to catch one of these trucks standing still!

Tap Tap bus - used for longer journeys | Source: www.wikipedia.org
Tap Tap bus – used for longer journeys | Source: http://www.wikipedia.org
Smaller Tap Tap | Source: http://www.wikipedia.org
Smaller Tap Tap | Source: http://www.wikipedia.org

Apart from the many pedestrians, here are some other views from my hotel room.  There are lots of houses being constructed on the sides of mountains but more so since the earthquake in 2010 as the country continues to rebuild its communities.  It’s like a concentrated concrete jungle – in the middle of the natural jungle (vegetation).  

View from my room
View from my room
Is that a coconut tree growing out of the roof? Well, yes and no.
Is that a coconut tree growing out of the roof? Well, yes and no but at least its life was spared when the building went up.

In Haiti, there are lots and lots and lots of people.  Everyone is rushing to get somewhere.  There are also many vendors to be seen all along the sides of the road selling whatever your mind can imagine.

Haiti is about people: lots and lots
Haiti is about people: lots and lots
Let's go to the market
Let’s go to the market
Whatever you want to buy, it's available
Whatever you want to buy, it’s available

I am also sharing some more art, because Haitians as I said before are very creatively talented when it comes to using recycled products to create things of beauty.  I was also pleasantly surprised to see corporate offices fully supporting local talent on their walls.  All depicting Haitian culture, I especially love the last painting because everyone is having such a great time, and to be honest, partying is truly indigenous to the entire Caribbean!

And that’s a wrap … until tomorrow 🙂

Empty glass bottle decor
Empty glass bottle decor in our restaurant

Art in office III Art in office II Art in office I

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galeweithers

Barbadian mother and lover of laughter; story teller and best-selling author; happy to follow God's lead and to live my mantra: "you've gotta be a rainbow in the lives of others when it rains."

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