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Market Day in Pierre Payen

August 4, 2011

Today was market day in Pierre Payen and I talked Yonese into taking me with her.  I don’t think she was overly enthused about it; I found out why when we got there.  Since I was with her the vendors thought they could ask a higher price for their produce.  After all, all whites are rich.  Consequently the marketing took a long time and involved a great deal of haggling.

I had frequently passed through Pierre Payen on market day and was not overly impressed.  There didn’t seem to be much to it, just some vendors along the highway.  But going with Yonese today I learned that down the alleys behind the buildings along the highway was a bustling market of considerable size.  The vendors are packed in tightly with the narrowest possible walkways between.  Just about anything one could need is for sale — vegetables, fruit, eggs, meat, fish, flour, cornmeal, clothing, shampoo, ice, baskets, medications, dishes, pot and pans, recho (charcoal burners), baskets, liquor, chairs, and on and on.  The charcoal market is off to one side, set apart because it is so dirty.  It was like walking into an anthill, people busily moving in all directions, crowded in together. Everyone seems to be talking — haggling, visiting, yelling for others to get out of their way.  The fact that Haitians tend to be loud added to the din.  Frequently donkeys loaded with goods made their way through the melee.  Occasionally a vehicle squeezed through.

I spent my time observing and taking pictures.  The next step is to go alone so that I can experience it at my own pace and look for what interests me.  One thing I was very much aware of was that I was the only white face in the entire market.

I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

After Pierre Payen we headed for Saint Marc to buy coffee.  Negotiations were long and hard.  Yonese bought two sacks that she will roast for us.  Back at home Yonese and I had a long conversation with me telling her about life in Canada and the cost of things.  She couldn’t believe it.

Instead of crossing Haiti, Emily gave the country a wide berth, staying out over the ocean.  In the process she ran out of steam.  We had a rather pleasant day, very hot and humid, but the only thing noticeable was that the waves were larger than usual.  Thanks to all those who prayed.

The wise man in a storm prays to God, not for safety from danger; but for deliverance from fear.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Zoe Webber permalink
    August 4, 2011 5:25 pm

    Yeh! so very happy to hear about Emily not hitting as hard as you had first thought. That is wonderful news! Love the pictures of the market. Blessings to you all!

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