This morning I was rudely awakened by the sound of a horn honking and sounds of an engine revving up as from a large truck with an engine problem. I lay there waiting for the quiet to return – my thoughts went to Ridoré and what it’s like waking up there to the sounds of roosters crowing and donkey’s braying – it’s a very gentle way to wake at the crack of dawn and meet a new day. Many mornings I was up before dawn and out with my cameras waiting for the magic of sunrise – most of the time not shooting but just enjoying the quiet and the feeling of innocence that I so love about the village of Ridoré. I have to say that I have been selfishly disappointed at the “progress” in the village, things such as paved streets where the donkeys used to park on market day – now there are more dirt bikes than donkeys on the roads. I have seen other Haitian people arrive at the Hotel Auberge du Mont Saint Jean for the first time because they heard about it and they can’t believe that LaVallée is so beautiful – they call it paradise.
There are some things that I hope don’t change and one of them is Sunday when everyone attends church dressed in their finest clothes looking as though they just had them cleaned and pressed. I always wondered how people in a village with no running water or electricity could keep their clothes looking so nice. Another thing I hope doesn’t change is the important roll fathers play with their children – they take them to church as well as to the hospital for their check ups – they walk them to school and you see the pride in their faces. I hope that never changes. We were there on Father’s Day when they honored all of the fathers with a special mass on Sunday; it was very beautiful.
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