Wednesday, April 28, 2010

More from Sans Souci Palace

Recap: B and I chaperoned the 8 Quisqueya seniors as they went on a trip to northern Haiti to visit the Citadelle and Sans Souci Palace, both built by Emperor Cristophe in the 1800's after the slave revolt that toppled Napoleon and the French colony in Haiti. This palace was his royal showpiece before it was destroyed by an earthquake. Someone told me Sans Souci means "no worries", like the Kreyol version of "hakuna matata" in Swahili.
I love this shot because there are people living and going about their daily lives literally in the middle of this incredible ruin. There were goats and pheasants (yes, the bird, that H is not an accident!) milling about inside the old walls, and this lady just going about her business.
 Affectionately known as the Hanging Tree. Enemies of the emperor, beware. (Double points if you get the Harry Potter reference in that last sentence).
Statue of the Goddess of Drama outside the Sans Souci palace. When the United States invaded and occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1930 (did you know that happened? I didn't before I moved here...), some Marines shot off her nose and part of her breast. Grrr.
Can't you imagine it was lovely in its prime?
Outer buildings of Sans Souci- servants' quarters, fountains, guardhouses, gardens.
Literally 30 feet from the back of this incredible palace, behind the gorgeous church, is a neighborhood of little shacks. Can you imagine if there were slums one block from the pyramids? Maybe there are, I haven't been... it just seems so crazy, the contrast.
Original toilet. There was a board over this hole at one point.
Statues and clouds
Interesting buildings we saw on the drive away from the palace and Citadel. Once again, any dear Francophiles/Kreyol-lovers able to fill me in?
The northern part of Haiti has this interesting cactus I've never seen, and this enterprising homeowner made it into a very secure fence!
I love Haiti.



  1. that cactus is on the southern side of Haiti too... everybody uses it as fencing. i wish we could import it to Georgia!

  2. Graffiti translations:

    Aba = down with (aba vole is down with thieves -- I can agree with that one)

    Viv = live (in the sense of "long live" -- these look like election slogans

    Votez = vote (as in "vote for...")

    Somebody won't negotiate.

    Lakay se lakay = something like "home sweet home"

    Loved your photos.



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