Monday, March 7, 2011

Time for Two

As you climb the road into the mountains above Petionville, packed-together houses and bumper-to-bumper traffic slowly gives way to the smell of pine trees, to wild impatiens and nasturtiums, mountain views and of course, stone walls and impenetrable gates guarding the fancy houses behind them.
I'm enjoying a 5-day weekend for Carnival. It was great to spend the day together on Saturday sleeping in, working in our garden, cooking and watching movies, but Ben and I still felt the need to get away (mostly from the eternal time-suck that is our email). We're seriously not used to spending as little time together as our busy schedules here allow. Even though we took a six-day road trip at the end of December, it felt like ages since we had intentional alone time, so Sunday morning we decided to head for the mountains.
We wanted to spend the night here. The first time we went, Ti Kay Kreyol charmed us with its gardens, Haitian art, bright Creole colors, and locally-produced menu. Unable to reach anyone by phone beforehand, we showed up on a holiday weekend to a locked gate. Since we weren't willing to turn around and head for home, we continued on to the Lodge in Furcy. I kid you not, we spent more last night than we have ever spent for a hotel room in our lives (wait for upcoming post on why we don't travel much in Haiti). The price might not seem unreasonable to many of you, but we tend to be more camping-for-free-under-bridges kind of folk.

We've only ever heard amazing things about the Lodge - its lush grounds, nearby hiking trails, great restaurant.... So, we figured we'd splurge a bit. Maybe we're hard to please (in fact, I know we are), but we weren't overly impressed with our overcooked dinner, staff that pretended not to speak Creole and having Jean-Claude Duvalier dining at a nearby table.
We spent the afternoon hiking around, albeit with a small crowd in tow trying to sell us everything from cut flowers to horseback rides. More than anywhere we've been in Haiti, we felt like the fact that we'd parked our motorcycle at the Lodge before we set off marked us as wealthy intruders, part of a social and economic elite that we're uncomfortable being associated with. The reception we received walking through the village, especially when we didn't purchase anything, was markedly hostile.

But - and maybe this is ultimately what made us uncomfortable - we can afford to spend a night at the Lodge. And did. We can afford to eat dinner there, in such close proximity to a former dictator. We went hiking on the steep mountain paths that surround the Lodge for fun, not out of necessity.

And to be fair, we loved getting a chance to go hiking. We loved seeing the stars come out from the Lodge's balcony as it got dark. At 6,000 feet, Furcy is cold and we loved being able to sleep under a heavy quilt. We loved falling asleep to the tinkling of those little frogs that sound like bells. Mostly, we loved having nothing to do but spend time together.
 There are no deer in Haiti, which may beg the question, Was this the last one?


nerkert said...

Thanks for this nice long post. I'm glad that you had this time and that you had the means. Try not to feel guilty about taking care of yourselves: it's your God-given responsibility! Love you.

John & Perla said...

"Was this the last one?" Funny. Thanks for the post.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...