Market day in Côteaux was a crazy experience.
Perhaps it was because I was carrying a 10-pound tripod, a camera, and hoping no one was going to hurt Garrett, my video producer, as he navigated his way through the sea of humanity in the market. Sometimes crouching, but always smiling, he hoped not to knock anything over in the process.
Many shoppers and vendors were not very pleased with us—especially those with baskets of colorful pills to heal just about every ailment. I hugged that tripod close to me, hoping I wouldn’t accidentally hit someone with it.
I would have preferred to have been carrying a basket and a small purse of money to buy what I needed for dinner at the market that day. Unfortunately, there was no time for browsing through the good-looking produce or the small bags of coffee and spices.
You can find just about everything you need at the market: clothes, shoes, vegetables, perfume, rice, beans, soap, treats, toys. And yes, “fresh” meat—piles of it in buckets or on mats, all of indescribable origin. Kids were walking around with live chickens to sell, and I saw a few live goats as well.
People were moving fast (sometimes furiously) and were impatient with us when we got in their way. Everyone looked like they had some place to be.
Wilrid!!! I saw someone I knew, a friendly face. Wilrid Bonnet is a board member of CEAC, the electric co-op NRECA International helped establish.
As we exchanged kisses on cheeks, I was hoping many people saw us so they understood that we meant no harm. And that we are here in their town to help tell their story—their future story—of how much better their lives can be with electricity. And that there is more to Haiti than earthquakes and street protests.
Read the entire series of dispatches from Haiti on NRECA International and the people it serves.
This story was originally published on RE Magazine.