The day started by rescheduling our meeting with the professor of Vodou history. It all worked out because we were able to get a bit of work done before the bus for the market day arrived. Market day was a great cultural experience. We went to a place where stations are set up to sell produces. When went to one of the biggest markets in the area. Casse is on the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It is outside and each individual seller has their own section. They sell everything from freshly chopped meat to hygiene products. You get to see a bit of everything. I didn’t personally enjoy the experience. I avoid grocery shopped and this is like grocery bargaining outside. How much hotter could it have been? I did appreciate the experience though. It allows you to see how much work goes into getting the things you need. The biggest issue I had was that it was so crowded. Everywhere you turned there were large groups of people, some on motorcycles, some with horses, and some with wheel barrows trying to get through very small walk ways. It was similar to lunch time traffic. What was interesting was how people took to the few of us who could speak Kreyol. They gathered around us listening and sometimes helping with miscommunication. It was a great feeling to know that because we were plans and we stood out that there were some willing to help us anyway and appreciate our effort to learn their way of communication. Overall it was an experience similar to Black Friday shopping but it is also what they have to do to survive and have the necessities of everyday life.
We did everything to meet with a man who was willing to talk about Vodou with us. This professor’s main foal was to be sure that we understood the history behind it and the way it works today. He also told us that it is not as bad as people make it out to be. The good and bad parts of it depend on the people operating it. Very different ideas overall than what we often hear about. Today was a very eye-opening culture crash course.