Posted: April 19, 2009 in Uncategorized


Today is Senatorial Election Day in Haiti.  One of the political parties that were not allowed to participate in the elections or perhaps it is not the political party as much as disgrunted members of the party (In Haiti as with politcs everywhere truth is hard to discern) have said that no one should vote; and if you do you should write your name on your feet so that your body can be identified.

Haiti has a large percentage of people that can not read or write and so I guess they could make their mark with an "X."

Some years back we used to drive with two flyers or handouts in the vehicle.  One for each of the two major political parties.  There would be a number of roadblocks or manifestations that we would drive through on any given week.  It at times was a challenge to identify which group was manifesting or blocking the road, so I could put their flyer on the dash of the vehicle. 

Another way to discourage voters is to forbid private vehicles from being on the road on Election Day.  The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince sent out the message below:

U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince issued the following Revised Warden Message
on April 17, 2009:

The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince is issuing this Revised Warden
Message to remind U.S. citizens in Haiti that Haiti senatorial elections
are scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 19, 2009.  International
election observers will be present to monitor the elections.

The Government of Haiti will be restricting all private vehicles and
motorcycles from being driven on election day.  All private vehicles and
motorcycles will be banned on Sunday, April 19.

UPDATE: Public transportation was also forbidden to be on the roads today.  Millions of people daily take public transportation and so it will be amazing if even 5% of the eligible voter turn out to vote today.

According to a nationwide survey by The Haitian Priorities Project
(HPP),“…only 5% of eligible voters would turn out on Apr. 19, based
on polling conducted of some 65,000 people by 70 investigators during
eight days in early April.”




Yesterday three of us went on a very fun motorcycle ride to an town called Saut d’Eau. We did a lot of mountain riding and spent time at a waterfall in Saut d’Eau.

We were told about a dirt road over the mountains that would take us back to Port-au-Prince; so we decided to take it.  But first we had lunch sitting under a big mango tree with about 15 Haitians who were there as well.  We had a type of fried dough thing with hot sauce.  It was good.  We as well spent about 30 minutes talking with the people and laughing and enjoying the moment under the mango tree.  Sitting there under the mango tree, eating the fired dough thing, and talking and laughing caused me to thank God for the privilege of being in Haiti.  I’d rather be eating under the mango tree in the mountains of Haiti than at a food court in a mall anywhere.


Generally there are a few spills while riding as we are largely on dirt and rocky roads.  One of the guys, a somewhat new moto rider,  has been with us twice now and he has snapped off three of his mirrors due to falls.  Next time we go we will be sure that he has a couple of spare mirrors with him.

John McHoul

  1. Kristen says:

    John, it is so obvious that you have altered that photo of your feet. I don\’t believe for a second they would be that clean. 🙂

  2. John says:

    Ah, you made me laugh out loud. You know me too well.

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