On Tuesday, the Pella Christian team took a trip to the citadel, learning history, making memories and getting souvenirs along the way.

Tuesday, January 9

We had an early morning today, waking up at 5:15 to prepare for our 1.5 hour journey to the Citadel. After an hour of traveling down dusty roads, we stopped at a roadside breakfast stand. We were served many Haitian treats, including hard boiled eggs with hot sauce, warm roasted peanuts, fresh bananas, and Haitian bread. As soon as we arrived at the trail-head, we were swarmed by salesmen offering us horseback rides up the steep trail. Although it was tempting, none of our group decided to take up their offer even after they followed us all the way to the Citadel.

Our hike along the rocky trail took about 1.5 hours, but the forest scenery made every step worth our while. The fortress was even larger than we had imagined. Rows of magnificent canons lined the sides of the tower, meant to guard against a possible French invasion in the 1800s. Our guide helped us understand the history and legends behind the Citadel’s construction.

After a complete tour, we decided to continue on to the queen’s palace across a nearby ridge. This complex had not been completed and was mostly in ruins. Here, we ate lunch, even finding grapefruits and oranges to eat in the surrounding trees. With one last look at the breathtaking views, we began our decent. About halfway down the mountain, we encountered numerous salespeople persistently competing for our attention. We arrived back at the trucks with our arms piled high with souvenirs. 

On our way back, we also had the opportunity to visit the homes of two sponsor children and distribute food and clothing. We returned to the compound to have an incredible dinner and share our unique Citadel experiences.

By: Kate Vos & Kayla Natelborg