Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Haitian Mafia

I woke up today thinking that I will be spending the day at the Kenscoff orphanage doing Thanksgiving arts and crafts with the children, oh boy! Was I wrong??? I was sitting down eating breakfast at the Duncan's house and Lucien comes walking over saying, "Hey you are coming with me and Joelle to a gathering!" OH wow, okay! So we left at 11am this morning to go pick up Joelle, who just lives down the street from Lucien. They are good buddies and even better scotch buddies. When we got to Joelle's house, it was amazing. It completely looks like a cabin in the woods that would be described in a novel. Dark red mahogany lined the sides of the wooden oasis and there were French style patio furniture all around. There was even a small garden where a picnic would definitely be a splendid idea on a Sunday afternoon. It was so beautiful and even more amazing was that he had built it all with his bare hands. The garden was so magnificently decorated and there was even a small welcoming gate at the entrance. Smoke was coming out of the tall chimney at the bottom of the hill. This was definitely a very relaxing place to retire. I can see what all the appeal to Kenscoff is all about now!

We got to Gerald's home (the place where the "gathering" was happening) around 12:30pm. It was located in Petion-Ville, which is the richer part of Haiti. Turns out the "gathering" was a huge gathering party of Gerald's friends and family members. Normally on the 1 and 2nd of November, Haitian celebrate All Saints' Day and Day of the Dead. For Gerald's family, they like to have a huge party on the last Sunday of November to celebrate it together. So that was what today was all about! People came from all over, bringing their best wine and home cooked dishes to the gathering. Oh man, I felt really awkward coming empty handed. Lucien just said I brought sunshine with my smile and personality, so I guess that counts a little bit, haha.

When we got there, I guess it was the pre-party! Not many people were there but only us and about 6 to 7 of Lucien's buddies. Not even joking, when I walked in, I thought I was going to meet the Haitian Mafia or something haha. It was totally like a scene out of the Godfather! Picture this. 5 men sitting around a table that is loaded with whiskey and scotch. All of them wearing aviators and smoking cigars! I had to put my hand over my mouth to stop myself from just laughing out loud. It was totally awesome! All of them men over their 50s and just gathering around to chat about life and politics. I loved being there! I loved observing everyone of their gestures and voice. It was so alluring how they carried themselves. It was as if they didn't have a care in the world. They would get so heated on each of the topics. Turns out all of them were hunters and so naturally the topic was big on hunting. I learned so much about getting hunting licenses in Haiti and the US and how it is illegal to buy arms from the US and then ship it to Haiti, although people still do it. Gerald is hilarious. In the middle of the conversation he comes out with a huge shotgun stating that it just arrived from AA and that it was bigger than expected. I almost fell over laughing, because here is this 60 something Haitian guy carrying this massive shotgun in one hand and then shaking his hand to demand for his whiskey on the table. It was just hilarious scene! All of them were showing me their gun permits and there are many. Permits for hunting and then personal permits for firearms in the house. What a complicated process!

Needless to say! It was an afternoon filled with good food, good stories, and awesome people! Couldn't ask for a better Sunday than that! I got to meet all of Lucien's hunting buddies and one of them I had already met through a Food for the Poor function. They were all very nice and welcoming to me. I was very grateful for that.

My day with the Haitian Mafia was a success and now I have so many fond memories to keep! I will never forget all the characters that I met today: The Haitian Cosby, The Haitian Godfather, The Italian Cook, The Over-Stressed Cop, The Romanian Novelist who smokes like a chimney, the alcoholic photographer, the loving grandmother who loves to pass out biscuits, the Catholic Father who drank bottled water the whole entire afternoon, the attractive women who everyone talks about, but no one approaches. Then there's everyone's favorite cousin who goes around asking if anyone wants to start a business with him. It was a typical family gathering and I loved every single minute of it. Especially when they found out that I was a vegetarian and half of them freaked out and the other half asked, "Why starve when we got food?" Haha, it was quite an experience!

1 comment:

  1. It does sound that you were in the movie of Godfather. Life is a play, doesn't it!
    I am gald that you did enjoy this special Sunday afternoon with all the characters.

    Love mom+