Haiti, a living postcard strewn among the Leward islands of the Caribbean.
A land where the only thing more abundant than palm trees is trash.
And the local greeting is “give me one dollar.”
It was a stunning smooth six day sail up from Martinique.
The shades of blue kept us constantly mesmerised
and as “Land Ho” was cried,
We were met with a plethora of turquoise tones to compliment the spectrum.
The welcome party swarmed to meet us in pirogues
each wanting to be the first to offer their “unique services”
(tour guiding, garbage disposal [or using it to further decorate their beaches], fruit and lobster supplies, and some even offered their phones as “Wi-Fi”)
They didn’t mind if they were getting in the way of our anchoring, or lunch, or beer o’clock,
(the latter being the most invasive offense)
And even after we refuted on all accounts (apart from a “great deal” on a papaya) they lingered.
Being the poorest island in the Caribbean,
The people’s desperation for our perceived riches kept them lusting and lingering.
But it didn’t distract from the beauty of the island.
We followed the coastline and clambered hills constantly awed as we revelled in paradise.
Our hearts beat to the beauty.
The people of Ile a’ Vache (Island of Cows) welcomed us with scowls as we explored.
If you smiled at them for long enough, you could sometimes glean a glimpse of a grin –
but these were hard people, and we were trespassers.
One youth even went as far as pelting us with rocks as we made our way back to our floating home.
That’s probably why it’s called “Hate-I” and not “Love-I”.
Although, the good people we came to know were exceptional,
And I’m sure with time we would come to understand the culture and its customs.
As quickly as we arrived, we were off again
Rounding the Haitian mainland and Cuba and through Turks and Caicos.
The wind came and went and then died completely.
Fortunately the twin engines of the catamaran carried us on till the winds returned [with vengeance]
To carry us in to The Bahamas.
The clouds shone turquoise as they reflected the picturesque beaches.
And each day we’ve cruised through sharks and dolphins and rays and waterspouts!
Definitly making it the most exciting Papillon passage [to date]
We’ve just arrived in Nassau.
Where we’ve found beer [Hooray!]
Using the first real internet we’ve found in a month.
Wondering what events we have missed out on in the “real world.
The Bahamas is a big stop for Papillon.
From here we’re only a brick’s throw from her new home in Florida.
And big questions will be answered!
Will our visas be granted?
Or will this be the last leg for the non-Americans amongst us?
What happens next?
[Please take some time to pray that we ALL get our visas because we really aren’t ready to tear our little floating family apart!!!]
But that’s future us’ problem…
It’s been such an exceptional journey so far.
And for now we’re simply happy to bask in the beauty of island life.
We hope you’re experiencing similar levels of joy!