Sleepless in Haiti


Well here I am, I’ve been teaching for the last few days. I’m at least maintaining my pace to some degree – though there’s lots to do yet, and to be honest it’s still pretty early in the course.
One of my challenges here is sleeping. I’m a country boy. I live out in the country. I sleep with my windows shut most of the time, and even when they are open I seldom hear more than the odd dog barking once or twice (well until my new neighbors moved in a few houses over).

So here comes the problem: The OMS Haiti compound is located a hop skip and a jump outside of Cap-Haitian. A major highway runs right past our front gates and while traffic certainly is less often at night it doesn’t stop altogether. Mind you not all of the Haitian vehicles have working headlights – which adds a whole new dimension to night driving here. Of course if you’re going to go around a curve you compensate for not being able to see by honking your horn. Did I mention there’s a curve not far from here. Car horns wake me up.

Then there’s the dogs. It’s amazing how many dogs I do see here, and they all seem to be the same mongrel breed – but that’s another story. The key on my part is that these dogs like to bark to each other. At night. Dogs wake me up.

And let’s not forget the roosters. I raised chickens (and roosters of course) for one year. The roosters might crow on the odd occasion, but almost never at night. But here in Haiti – they start crowing at 11:30pm and go at it for quite a long time. The roosters wake me up.

Add all of that up and I’m not getting much sleep. And then dawn breaks and the crows or whatever you want to call them start cackling and shrieking all over the compound. My former roommate called them “The devil’s alarm clock”.

Now my roommate has gone back home to his family and I’m left alone in this house. I may not sleep much, but at least I don’t have to worry about keeping anyone else awake as I listen to some great worship music via pandora. I’m just thankful the Internet works so far.

Fortunately I’m also getting some studying, writing and reading done.
But I’m sure not getting a lot of sleep.

Grace to you all from Haiti,
Tom