Crazy Town, Crazy Island – A symbol of the ruin

This ceremonial area of the city surrounded the presidential or “National Palace”.  This had become a symbol of Haiti in the aftermath of the quake but to drive past it in context just across the way from all the displaced people, demonstrated how indiscriminate these disasters are.  Once a proud colonial edifice; a startling white wedding cake of a building with three dome capped towers at the centre and either end, now it is a forlorn sight; the upper storey three quarters demolished, the largest  of the domes having crashed right down into the entrance hall,  a second had buckled and was now removed; the third still titled at a 30 degree angle.  This is the heart of the nation, and yet it was unable to keep beating.  And again, like our friend the waiter in Petionville, a very uncertain future with little hope of rebuilding. We headed back up to Ibo Lele.  Few times have I been in a country that has been so closely brought to its knees as this.  I’d been surprised to see how quickly some places rebounded but in Haiti that process would not be as elastic.  We just hoped our small contribution in encouraging the establishment of freshwater fishery would generate much needed protein in country and a whole market chain that would provide valuable income from the producers to the market stall holders.


A Palace (and a country?) in ruin