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Post by Yanique » Thu Jul 19, 2007 2:00 pm

SAUT-D'EAU, Haiti (AFP) -

By car, on donkeyback, and on foot by the thousands, observant Haitians travel each year to the waters of Saut d'Eau, a small village about 60 kilometers (35 miles) from Port-au-Prince, where pilgrims seek spiritual comfort, physical healing and answers to their prayers.

The town, famous for its picturesque waterfall, is the site of the annual July 16 feast of Mont-Carmel, where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared during the middle of the 19th century.

But Catholic pilgrims are not the only ones to worship here at the town's church, where masses throng into the sanctuary to honor the Virgin. Many Haitians pay homage to her by her voodoo name Erzulie, in a melding of Catholic and African traditions.

Whatever they call her, the faithful who come to venerate the Virgin more often than not arrive with a wish-list in hand.

"Virgin, I have come to ask that you keep me safe from any evil plots that might befall me," was one prayer intoned by a young man carrying an floral bouquet as an offering.

Another petitioner holding a lit candle was far more cryptic, and his request more immediate.

"You already know what I need," went his prayer. "I can't come back tomorrow -- too many people."

Next to him, a woman carrying a lit candle carved into a gourd tosses a handful of peas onto the ground as an offering, casting her lot with the faithful who were there to honor the Virgin's voodoo incarnation.

In the town square, hundreds of pilgrims thronged the entrance of the church, and spilled into neighboring streets in every direction.

Beggars, the blind, and those with other handicaps held out their hands seeking alms and fought among themselves for the coins tossed out by the more fortunate visitors.

On a neighboring street, some pilgrims...

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Post by Leoneljb » Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:57 am

I remember going to Saut D'eau when I was little. It was wonderful! I've rented a pregnant Horse for twa goud. Then, I was doing like Clint Eastwood through mountains and valleys to go to the waterfall. The woman who rented me the Horse was very upset. For, I wasn't suppose to race the pregnant horse. I was about thirteen. I didn't know being from Port-au-Prince, a horse suppose to "giddy up" like the western movies...
I remember going to eat at Loganye, Wiwit et al. who were the best cooks around. I guess that my Dad wasn't homophobic.
We went to Saut d'Eau every Summer Vaccation,for, my Dad was working in the Plateau Central area and Mirebalais was where we stayed...
I remember having so much fun at that wonderful place.
I miss those days! Saut d'Eau, Ti Goave, Camp Perrin, Port Salut, Leogane where People met for the beautiful "FEt ChanpEt"...

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Post by Gelin » Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:04 pm

Lè m te piti m te konn al saut-d'eau tou....


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Post by Tidodo » Fri Jul 27, 2007 8:05 am

I did visit most of Haiti's cities and localities during times of their "fèt chanpèt" in my 20s. I had a hell of a good time visiting them in so many different ways. Saut-D'Eau was a rare exception among the many well-known haitian destinations I missed. I was not crazy about the religious aspect of Saut-d'Eau that was sold at the time. The funny thing is, although I greatly enjoyed meeting the residents of these localities and the beauty of the countryside, especially binging on their fruits and vegetables, I have an even better appreciation now for their way of life and the place where they live than when I was hopping in every fèt chanpèt during summer months. What Haiti could have been!!!!!!!!!!

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Post by jafrikayiti » Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:00 am

What OUR Haiti can still become....!


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Post by Gelin » Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:33 pm

...depi gen lavi gen espwa. Depi tèt poko koupe, l gen espwa met chapo...


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Sodo se yon pelerinaj ki bon anpil pou lasante fizik ak mantal

Post by jafrikayiti » Tue Aug 07, 2007 6:32 am

Ane sa a, se premye fwa mwen te gen chans ale Sodo nan vi mwen.

Se kounye a m ap fè montaj videyo pou mwen ka pran konsyans ki kalite bèl eksperyans mwen sot viv la a.

Lè ou konsidere ki jan anndan peyi nou an gen mèvèy tankou Sodo, ki foli fou ki monte nan tèt yon Ayisyen pou li ale fè pelerinaj jouk nan peyi dominikani - dèyè yon vye vyèj krizokal tandiske, nan pwòp peyi gen Monkamèl k ap fè l zye dou?

Se vre mwen pa kwayan, ni katolik, ni vodouyizan, men mezanmi, keseswa kwayans yon moun, depi ou foure rèl do ou anba chit dlo sodo, masaj ou jwenn se bagay ki pou korije depi se defo ki te kolònn vètebral ou. Se bagay ki koute moun k ap bourike anba strès peyi blan, anpil anpil dola vèt kay Kiwopraktè, Deblokè-d-nè kwense elatriye...

Se vre, jiskaprezan, noumenm Ayisyen nou poko envesti jan nou ta dwe fè sa, nan enfrastrikti zòn Sodo a jan li ye a se deja yon pelerinaj chak Ayisyen ki konn gou bouch li ta dwe fè prese prese.

Antouka, mwenmenm m ap di Granmèt la ak tout zansèt yo mèsi daprèzavwa yo te enspire mwen pou mwen ale fè pelerinaj sa a anvan twò ta te bare m. Mwen sèten, ni beny savon, ni beny fèy mwen te pran anba chit dlo Sodo ane sa a, ap fè di byen a kò mwen, nanm mwen pou anpil ane. Si mwen pa ta retounen prese prese, se engratitid sa ta ye.

Mwen pa p pale plis paske, tankou granmoun nan abitye di 'pawòl pale se van, se aksyon ki pote chanjman'.

M ale!


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Post by Jgpalmis » Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:11 pm

Mwen poko gen chans vizite Sodo men sepandan mwen konnen jou pa mwen gen pou rive.

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Post by jafrikayiti » Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:29 pm

Palmis, mwen swete anvan lontan ou va rive lakay pou ou ale layite kò ou nan Sodo alèzteman.

Annatandan, mwen fenk sot fè lenesesè pou mwen pataje kèk foto vwayaj lan ak kanmarad ki sou fowòm nan.

Men adrès la: ... =107055082

Mwen poko gen tan ekri yon ti deskripsyon pou foto yo, mwen espere fè sa kanmaenm pi douvan....

Mesyedam ale lakay nou tande - gen anpil bon moun nan peyi a, anpil lanmou. Kanta pou solèy ak lanmè menm....gade foto yo n a di m sa nou wè! :wink:


Nekita Lamour
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Saut d'Eau & New Orleans

Post by Nekita Lamour » Wed Aug 15, 2007 11:53 pm

I went to Vierge Miracle or Ville Bonheur once in l985. What a beautiful village. I did not go to Saut d'Eau. I don't have private cars in Haiti. I spent the day, went to church and took the bus back in the afternoon. I stopped by a river and picked up a rock that I kept for a long time. I forgot in a place I moved out in l994.

I have nice pictures also included one of that peasant tonton makout in his dark blue jeans uniform.

I have not gone back because of Morne Cabrit. How is it now? It was very high and narrow.

I was in New Orleans for almost a month from end June to end of July. It was an experience. Two years later, I could see the impact of Katrina. The colonial houses in the French quarter made me feel like home. I saw a house similar to mine in Petit -Goave. I saw kwochet pot, pèsyenn, koridò, baryè tòl, galri lave byen fre granm maten. I held a kwochet pot and asked a white guy from the East coast how to say it in English. He did not know. A New Orleans told me they are called " latches".

Back to Virgin Mary. I went to visit the 9th ward, one of the most Katrina devastated area which is almost like a ghost town. In a row of empty plots where row of housesno longer stand, a 18-20 inch statue of Virgin Mary survived the 155 miles wind, 10-15 of feet of water, all the mess that you saw on TV. I thought someone placed that statue there. But they told me it was one of those statues that people put in front of their houses for decoration. I was shocked to see that white and blue statue that's not even two feet tall was still nice and beautiful. I hear those stories about statues that survive fires. But for this small Virgin Mary to survive that deluge was beyond enigma.

I hear stories from various people in New Orleans about religious statues, icons, or framed spiritual writings that were the only things that survive in houses or in some churches.

Being in New Orleans for almost a month was a historical, cultural, and spiritual pilgrimage. Imagine everything that you have been attached to - pictures, family members, computers, TV, your entire house are gone in one day. From shopping malls to neighborhood stores, to hospitals, everything is gone. In addition to the stories that I hear from survivors who lost everything,those religious icons that survive are mind boggling.

Jaf, I am putting you on the spot- Don't philosophize or try to explain scientifically the survival of this Virgin Mary statue. Believe me I have seen a crying Virgin Mary in Medford,Mass. and tried to explain it by winter ice in the melting process. I saw something the size of a garage that is literarily resting on the roof of another house. Why this small Virgin Mary statue survived? It's a miracle.

Culturally when it comes to Voodoo New Orleans is like Haiti. I was using a computer around 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. Believe me I heard somebody sweeping a hallway that is wall to wall carpeting. I wanted to go open the door, but didn't . When I woke up I mentioned to a New Orlean, she said she heard it too. She told me there are a lot of spirits roaming around New Orleans. I called my mother and told her what I heard and wanted to open the door. You know Haitians' response, "Don't ever open the door when you hear something at night."

One last thing- the AC was very cold. I did not travel with warm night gowns thinking I was going to a warm place. One of those nights, I woke up literarily trembling,skaking from my teeth to my toes from being too cold. I was scared and stayed up. I put day clothes on, socks and made some tea in the microwave and felt warm. In the morning, I told the same girl that in the middle of the night I woke up shaking from being too cold, she said "Be quiet it was the spirit shaking you up to let you know of his presence." I said "What ! Come on! I was freezing". She said "Shut up! " She took a small thing , lipstick size of oil with a glossy top and made crosses on my forehead, had me open my hands, did the same oily crosses in my palms. She did the same cross thing on each of my foot. I said " M antrave isiba."

During the day, she heard me talk about how cold I was to other people, she gave me that not - to - talk look. I said "Apa se Ayiti m ye tout bon." She reminded me of a dream I told a Haitian guy once who told me not talk about it. This lady has a masters degree, but had never left New Orleans.

I did not go to Haiti, but I felt like I was in Haiti . I had duri ak sos pwa kalalou gombo like if I was home. I took lots of pictures, but you know I am not that tech savvy to put them on the web.


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Post by Guysanto » Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:47 am

Nekita, you sure put Jaf on the spot. He's probably squirming right now.

[quote]She reminded me of a dream I told a Haitian guy once who told me not talk about it.[/quote]
Well, tell us. Ann Pale could open a new service of dream interpretation.

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