Last weekend we took the students on a weekend excursion to a town called Dajabon. It is right on the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. We went to mainly check out the big market that they have every Friday and Monday. My understanding of what happens is that items get donated to Haiti and then the Haitians bring it over to the DR side and sell the items at a low cost. It was a lot of fun to see but it felt so chaotic and crazy for us Americans who are not used to it.
We almost crossed over into Haiti but the guards wanted some money from us in order to enter. A river is what separates the two countries and so we did get to stand on the bridge and see into Haiti. It was very different then the DR side. It appeared more desert like and looked like a garbage dump in some places.
Some other interesting things we saw were people buying big blocks of ice and carting them back over into Haiti on their wheelbarrow. We saw one lady carrying a bunch of paper or styrofoam type products on her head. I have no idea how heavy it was but it was stacked at least 10 feet high. We saw guys pushing 500 lbs of rice in their wheelbarrow. It was 10 bags of rice that weighed 50lbs each and they would load it all in their little wheelbarrow.
(This huge load is on a woman's head!)
(above picture are the ice blocks)
All in all it was a very good experience and we were able to learn what life can be be like for Haitians.