Haiti – Part 2

We went to hear Ram on Thursday night. They play traditional Haitian music. They’re beyond incredible. I was most impressed by the horns. I’m not sure what they’re called, but they’re long cones that only play one note. The horn/shaker/vocalist/metal clave type instrument players (yes, they play them all) know what instrument is needed at the moment and switch before you can realize. It’s so awesome to watch. Equally, if not more so impressive is that they have 3 horns at once that they hold close to their mouths and rotate as the chords in the song call. The music was fantastic. When they first came out they had no electronic instruments at all, only percussion and the horns. They did a walk through of the restaurant/bar and then got ready for their set. The rest of the show included guitars, bass, vocals, and a woman on the side who danced with the music. Later, we found out that the music they play there is associated with Voodoo so many of the words of the song talk about that, sometimes people even become possessed. Unfortunately, the show started rather late so we couldn’t stay for very long.
The next day was long and exciting and was the last day we would have camp programming with the kids. At the end of the day they put on a fantastic talent show complete with acting, dance, singing and spoken word. We were absolutely blown away by their talents and abilities. The child did not author the spoken word piece but she delivered it with such intent. It was about the youth getting ready to take over Haiti as the new leaders so that they can make it a better place to live. One group did a skit about how a father didn’t give children money for transportation to get to clubs. The mother begged and begged and borrowed money from someone else so they could go. It makes me sad to think that this probably reflects a lot of the realities they live in. They also had a small section where they told the father he should stop playing dominos and to stop drinking. This is similar to what happened in India when we gave them time to put on different skits about their lives. In the story, the father ends up coming around, and the kids get to go to their clubs.
In the afternoon we also went to see one club up a huge hill on a dirt road. It took us about a half hour to get there. The road wasn’t paved, but rather had this huge rocks that acted as traction for the SUVs to get up. Most folks don’t have cars, so they walk it, on a daily basis. Without a skilled driver, there is no way we could have gotten up. It was if we were going to a small village. If the road was paved, it probably would have taken maybe 10 minutes. On the way we passed these huge, unfinished houses. Most were behind brick walls. It’s like they’re waiting for the road to be paved so that they can finish the construction. There were also some tents, houses that used old tents as barriers to the road or on the sides of their houses. We met some of the kids, saw a mock club, and then returned down the hill. It was definitely a good experience.
I woke up early to finish writing because last night we passed out very quickly after eating dinner back at the hotel. Today: training, and a festival. I’m excited to see the kids again one last time!
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