What does this result in? Mayhem. For the Haitians who visit the market, their livelihood depends on those eight hours a week. There is no one who will (or can) buy their goods in Haiti, so they are desperate to get as many goods over the border and sold to the 'wealthy' Dominicans as possible. They run back and forth over one bridge with cart after cart of goods, dumping it at a family stall before running back for more. Literally, running. I saw men pushing huge horse carts or dragging trailers behind them.
There is one central road for all the traffic to go across the bridge. It is literally one lane wide, but since the market is only open for four hours people rarely care about that. It is a sea of humanity. You look to your left, there's a horse cart. Look to your right, trailer. Look above, the bags of goods people are carrying on their heads jilt with their steps and threaten to fall on your face. Look behind you, people are pushing against you--desperate to get more, more, more sold. Look ahead, there is no end in sight. A constant stream of desperate people running. I kept watching for cameramen from the Discovery Channel or National Geographic.
|Aerial shot of the bridge leading from Haiti to the market|
If your lucky, things on top of their heads are in soft bags. Or, like this man, they're just straight up dangerous. A wheel barrow? On your head?!?
Maybe this is why I'm not scared (enough) of strangers. Because in the end, it always works out. He only had eight hours a week to make his living at this chaotic, insane, dangerous market. And he spent ten of those precious minutes helping me, a stranger.
If you like, I have many more stories from the DR that I can share =)
Don't forget to link up with Helene and share your stories!
Also, these photos are from good ol' Google. Apparently the majority of my DR photos
didn't make it on the trek from MI. I have some cute ones of the kiddos though for future use =)