Sociable

Prints available on request. Any donations should be made to (www.missionsoflove.org) to support their ongoing medical efforts in Haiti.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Entering Port-au-Prince

Not long after we drove over the border we starting encountering small concrete and metal homes along the road.  These structures, perhaps due to their size or to the distance from the epicenter, seemed to be relatively unharmed.  Damage was not noticeable on most of the buildings, and very few were completely demolished.  As we pressed on, traffic began to thicken.  It was then that I caught my first glimpse of Haiti's ubiquitous travel method, the taptap:







Brightly colored trucks and vans of all sizes serve as Haiti's taxi fleet.  Here a rather large one is parked on the side of the road just outside of Port-au-Prince.  Most taptaps were much smaller, ranging all the way down to a small pickup truck.  This one, I imagine, was used to transport people on the unpaved roads leading out of town.  I have a hunch its main job lately has been taking people to the border.







Here we have a smaller taptap made from an old truck with a roof and sides attached to keep out the weather or maybe someone trying to sneak on.  Each taptap in town had a crew of two: a driver, and a man on back to collect fees or make sure no one got a free ride.






Some were more drab and bland and some really stood out with bright colors and extravagant decorations.  This one I found particularly entertaining with its mass of headlights and turn signals on the front, nuclear warning design on the wheels and US Flags painted on the top and flying behind.  Taptaps would sometimes be bursting with people.  The local joke was: "How many people can you fit on a taptap?"  "One more."







Some carried advertisement for preachers of politicians.  This picture was shot through the spiderweb cracks in the windshield of the truck which served as our transportation, and is one of my favorites from the trip.








As we entered Port-au-Prince proper I noticed a large mass of people waiting in a line.  At first I assumed it was a line for food or fresh water but as we approached i realized that was not the case.  The line lead to a phone store, where people were attempting to place a phone call or charge their cellphones.

As we continued traveling, I began to see the devastation...

18 comments:

  1. Very interesting read. The buses look just like the ones I saw and rode on in India. Looking forward to your next post :).

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  2. Excellent pictures! Thanks for sharing :)

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  3. The last picture is kind of insightful. I on't know what I would do if I couldn't get in contact with family.

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  4. Good job, please keep reporting from Haiti!

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  5. Since following your blog I've been a lot more informed on the events going on in Haiti. I'm glad I followed you!

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  6. this blog just keeps getting more and more interesting

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  7. the vans seem pretty festive and nice. I wanna know what happened in haiti more though lol

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  8. good read, cool pics. thanks for sharing.

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  9. Lot of sex industry there too, I heard. Port au Porno ;)

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  10. I really like that shot through the cracked glass

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  11. Very interesting,

    Following for intrest!

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  12. Wow! its great to see the different parts of the world! I love traveling! keep the pics coming!

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  13. great read the pictures are amazing

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  14. ouch, what happened to the window? sounds like a great trip

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