Back to Leogane

We’ve returned to Leogane after two weekends of carnival madness in Jakmel and several screenings.

We did two screenings at a new camp on wednesday and thursday. Called OIM camp it was a longer walk than Belval and Camp Chatulet Marche but nevertheless we endevoured to stick to our use of barrow guys to haul the load.

The camp asked us to set up in the middle of their homes. Most of the structures and some infrastructure are Korean and Japanese with the occasional Chinese Red Cross house.


Yesterday we did something different. We visited an area, a valley, south east of Leogane and in the foothills of the mountains, that is receiving long term aid from an NGO. We met a women in Leogane before we went to Jakmel who works for the project and she suggested doing something in their community.

At first it was difficult because maybe there was some confusion as to what we did and we had minor issues finding a suitable piece of ground. However as soon as we found the footbal pitch and set up the screen and PA it soon attracted loads of attention and we had a large crowd (perhaps our biggest?) jeering, shouting and laughing to the Red Baloon and Kirikou. As we were setting up a load of kids were screaming and hysterically jumping around something on the floor. We went over to investigate and saw them tormeting a large spider, a Tarantula, as big as my hand!

Heres a house on Rue la Libertie where we live that I really like. However apparently it is possessed by a malign spirit which anyone who has slept there feels and which drives them away. I might make an offer tomorrow…..

Weve discovered the UN cafeteria and went there on tuesday to have a meal, drink coffee and use their internet.

Its an impressive setup with big satelite dishes, IT cabins, offices, armed guards, a water supply, a gym (that no one can use), a cafe, living accomodation etc. Although it has to said their internet was terrible.

Theres something about the yankee trucks you get everywhere here. Big loud dusty Macks. Maybe its the fact that the cabin and engine seem too big for the load.

The sea was nice this morning.





We are at the famous Jakmel Kanaval. Yesterday before we left Leogane I saw this guy marching down the street in his best suit.

Jakmel is crazy. The whole town is in the throng of Carnival. They make big papier mache heads and torsos some of which are very elaborate and sculptural and take upto 4 months to build. There are also mad demonic characters who scare people, death mask figures who walk very slowly in a line, almost tip-toeing, humming bird princesses, tall King and Queen puppets and dancing soldier-men parodies with big teeth and military attire.

Ive performed in many carnivals mostly on stilts with Kevin and Im finding it weird to be a spectator. Kind of wished Kev was here so we could both tear up the crowds with some Moko Jumby action, the crowds are really responsive to mischeif from the Masqueraders.

The Mardis Gras have broken up for lunch/rest now and the parade is later, which I think is the big floats with massive bands onboard.

Jakmel couldnt be more different from Leogane. Lots of big buildings here whereas in Leogane almost every single concrete structure was destroyed.




Things to do, people to do them

We had a big delay with the Genny not starting.
Waldo is a good mechanic who has done some work
for a Canadian NGO out here. So we were confident
when he started stripping the machine down, part
by part. He eventually fixed it (after several
sessions over a few days) and it was great compared
to the noisy and beefy 110v once which rattled so much
that the mains cord fell out.

Kenton made some new cinema screen poles. Here is a photo
of his workshop which is basically in the middle of
the street. We will be trying them out for the first time

Here are some goats taking shade in the only place available
in the street here, under a big lorry.

Here is another truck. It looked liked it tipped its load and
then the engine and the whole gearbox and diff’ fell out.
Mind you I saw some guys scuttling around underneath the other
day. They fix everything here. Machines like trucks, cars, vans
and motorbikes get a serious thrashing.

Heres out local family internet shop although today we’re off
to the UN building to see if we can use their wi-fi.

Alright, its not all hard work. Heres some kids we met at the
beach with their dug out canoe. They let us have a go. And here
also is the full moon from the 7th after we’d done a screening
at Belval camp. Its really bright here and you notice its
absence when it gets hidden by clouds. Theres no street
lighting and everyone lives and moves in shadows at night.

Our First Screening

After delays with the generator which would not start and various technical problems with the 110v genny and transformers we finally did our first screening on Sunday. We visited the camp by Belval Plaza the day before and watched a big group of people, young and older practicing their march/dance for Haiti Flag Day in may.

The next evening we used a barrow guy to transport our stuff to the camp.  The kids were amazing in the talent show before just as Alex, Gary and Marko (the previous HKKP team) had told us.

The kids were very playful, welcoming, a real pleasure to be with. Everyone was pleased to see the return of HKKP. The camp has reduced since the last trip which is good as many people have been housed and have moved on.

The Kirikou film went down very well with everyone, from really young to adults. The petrol ran out right at the the end but we got the show back up in 2 minutes just in time for the last scenes and credits.

Today the genny got fixed by waldo a mechanic friend of Berlynes. We plan to do another screening there tonight and Tuesday.

We are settling in to Leogane. Finding the good food stalls, the good shops, the market. Its very hot, dusty and busy but beautiful, vibrant and exciting.