We enjoyed Day 4 by spending the majority of our day at the Citadel. We woke up and were on the misty road by 5:47, ready to endure the two hour and twenty seven minute expedition on the bumpy path. Although we were tired and cold, we could not resist yelling out “Bonjour!” to everyone who we encountered, always receiving a kind response from the Haitians. Startled and confused, we came across a 20 ft wide river and found that going through was our only escape. Fortunately, we had a jacked up truck and a very skilled driver who got us across and calmed our nerves.

The jacked up truck taking us safely to the citadel

About an hour later, we arrived at a small town called Dondon where many street venders met us with handfuls of various foods. As we snacked on hard-boiled eggs, roasted peanuts (pistach in Creole), bread, and baby bananas, our hunger subsided.

We continued our journey towards the fortress, and although the roads were rugged, we admired the scenic view, full of spiderweb covered cacti, towering mountains, and river valleys. Finally, after what seemed like days, we reached our destination of Sans Souci Palace where we met our guide and began our exploration.

Here we learned about the life of King Christoph, a very paranoid, controlling, and eccentric man who forced many Haitians to build his enormous palace and fortress, killing over 10,000 people along the way.

Half way up the mountain, we jumped out of the truck and began our tedious trek to the Citadel. It only took a couple of feet until our calves began to burn and we began to perspire. After what seemed like decades later, we arrived at the precipice and relaxed in the shade of the humongous fortress.

 

We arrived!

With the help of our knowledgable guide, we learned about the various French cannons located in almost every window where we could gaze at the beautiful countryside of Haiti.

One of the cannons

Historic view

Doing some shadow art

As we finished the tour, we sat down to feast on a 4-course meal of peanuts, bananas, slim-Jims, and peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches. The way back down was much more enjoyable since we did not encounter any more steep hills. After jumping back onto the jacked up, four wheel drive, beast of a truck, we started back home and realized that we could not wait to get back.

After what seemed like eons, we where finally able to relax on the balcony of our compound, cheerfully conversing with the Haitian children below. We spent the remaining hours of our night eating, relaxing, praising God, and enjoying each other’s company.

As we sit here reflecting on the day’s endeavors, we think of the the smiles of the Haitian people, God’s incredible creation, and our families back home. Bondye beni to all. (God bless to all).

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