Saturday, July 30, 2016 - Day Eight - Visiting Downtown Jacmel and Visit with Voodoo Priest
Ari Eckhaus reports:
Today started off with us leaving the beautiful Hotel Cyvadier. We then loaded our luggage and ourselves into the van and traveled to the town of Jacmel. We explored the small town and visited many art galleries that were offering original pieces that represented the history of Haiti. The town of Jacmel used to be a very large port in Haiti and acts as a “vacation spot” of sorts for the wealthier Haitians. Because Jacmel used to be a huge destination for travelling Americans it is fairly developed compared to other areas of Haiti and has some historical pieces from when it used to be a large trade outpost. The coolest historical piece that we saw was an old cabinet that was meant to hold letters to the captains of trading ships.
After exploring Jacmel we packed back into the van and drove five hours back to Port-au-Prince. In Port-au-Prince we went to a small point and met a man to tell us about Voodoo culture. The man explained to us how Voodoo is trying to create an empire using an old deserted resort from the 1970s. After the man explained the fundamentals of Voodoo we went to meet the Voodoo king of Haiti.
The king redefined the religion of Voodoo to us explaining the way that Voodoo is not inherently violent and how it is now our jobs to redefine Voodoo among our peers. After the king burned some rum and we took a nice group picture we went upstairs to observe a Voodoo ceremony. We danced, and listened to the drummers that were at the “party." After the Voodoo ceremony we went to the Voodoo church and saw interesting murals and got an idea of how a Voodoo mass is conducted. After our Voodoo experience we returned to our hotel (which was very nice compared to the other places we had stayed). After swimming, and eating a very nice dinner, we had a group discussion about our experiences in Haiti. Finally, once we had shared our opinions of the country, we went to bed.