Monday, January 24, 2011

Living Haiti

And BOOM! We’re back again! It’s like a movie with lots of political action, drama and killer cholera on the loose in a 7.o-you-know-what ravaged country. But, chill, there’s life in Haiti! By that we mean, hakuna matata marinating in love, life and peace.

It’s time we introduce you to Living Haiti—the scene that news cams never see. There’s life here! So let’s be done with the foreplay, we’re about to give you a taste of Haiti we all enjoy.

1. Restaurants are top of our list. Oriental, European, local, it’s here. Each dish is a celebration, a marriage of international recipes with locally grown organic ingredients tuned by a fine Caribbean palette.

There are a couple of places where you could go depending on your taste. Heck, we could even write an entire entry on local wining and dining and restaurants! Because when it comes to food nothing beats the flavours found here.

Emina's Garden.

2. Drinking. What’s the point of living when we can’t be “foolish” from time to time? And what better way to do it than with a drink or two among good friends? Haiti is home to two wonderful drinks: Prestige, a lager beer produced by Brana S.A. and Rhum Barbancourt, a rhum distilled from sugar canes. Both drinks are awarded for their wapah factor that leaves you wanting.

Let us initiate you. Barbancourt simply put is the rhum of all rhums—the choice of connoisseurs the world over. Prestige is a brown bottle lager with original flavours that makes a warm day in the tropics so nice! Try this, grab an ice cold 6-pack and head to the beach and tell us that’s not true.

Magdoos Café Resto.

3. Dancing. Okay. Now that we’re all foolish after, uh, a few, uh, drinks, we can all dance to the tune of kompa. Can’t dance? Drink some more. Trust us when we say what you’re drinking has a secret ingredient that can grow dancing bones or turn you into happy feet in two seconds!

Nightlife is alive and well especially in Pétion-Ville. One of our favourite is Press Café, an authentic Haitian bar that allows you to get close and personal to your, ahem, friend. How could anyone resist that cosy sensual atmosphere brought by real Haitian twoubadou?

Pétion-Ville at night

4. Relaxing after pulling off an all-night party is surprisingly easy. Let’s save the beach for later. There are pools open to public, like the ones at Hotel Karibe and Hotel Ibolele where you could spend the whole day under the sun without going too far. There is also Botanik Spa, where you could unwind and untie those knots on your shoulders. There is also cascade bleu up in the mountain. It’s cool, it’s fresh and you could be close to nature without going too far.

Zen in Haiti.

5. Beaches! Aha, the best part of living in Haiti is having access to fine tropical beaches where the sun is smiling. Top of mind is Île-à-Vache, a secluded little island in the southern part of the country. It boasts of beautiful shorelines, verdant hills and sumptuous meals fresh from the sea. Unfortunately, our words fail to capture what Île-à-Vache is all about. It’s something that you should see for yourself. Take pictures though, and share it with us! We’ll be happy to give you a spot.

Ile-à-Vache, Haiti.

6. Fitness ranks high in our priority. Being in shape let’s you enjoy the things we’ve mentioned. There are couple of things you could do. There is the great outdoors for your mountain bike. There are also gyms, like Ultimate Fitness where you could burn calories, pump your muscles and keep your body active.

It's a stock image, but it's close to the real thing.

7. Work. Like anywhere else in the world, everyone has to work. The country is challenging and where there are challenges, there are success stories. No matter how little or how unsung they are. The country also provides a virgin environment for business to thrive... given the proper motivation and management skills. Recently, due to Haiti’s, uhh, unique situation, it has also provided jobs for the international community by allowing NGO careers to thrive.

We got lazy, another stock image. ;-)

We live in one of those very few places on earth where complexity and simplicity could exist in the same space. You might argue that what we’re talking about could be found anywhere else in the world! That's true. It is possible to live “normally” here but Haiti possesses something elsea magic that can’t be extracted or quantified. The Magic that makes time move on its own schedule, that makes life in Haiti special.

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