HAITI

Etang Saumatre, Mallepasse
Vase planted by Marta Da Costa, Marie-Claude Nielly and Phidel Beauval, June 25, 2016

The planting team hit the road at 5am. None of us knew the location where we were heading. There was a feeling of adventure as we didn’t know what we would find there and if we would be able to place the vase at all. Etang Saumatre is an old lake shared with the Dominican Republic – only a small portion of the water is actually in the territory of the neighboring state. It is a very beautiful area, semi desert, with small mountains in its surroundings. Nowadays, there is an important struggle between Haiti and its neighbor regarding Dominicans from Haitian descent being deported to Haiti. This border area and its small locality, Mallepasse, have witnessed many of these deportations.

On the road along the lake, we saw a few people, some just sitting there, others taking a morning bath in the lake. We were looking for the perfect spot where no one would be around so that we could do the placement quietly. We finally arrived at a small road entering towards the lake and we ended up on a little hidden beach, surrounded by a few bushes. As soon as we stopped the car, Phidel went straight towards a small bush and started digging. It was about 6.30 am. We were completely alone on the beach. It was a very joyful moment, and thanks to Phidel, most of the digging was done swiftly (as he did most of it!). We had brought with us a small pine tree offered by a neighbor who wanted to support our mission (a good cover in case someone would pass by). The ground was very rocky, rendering the digging more challenging. Once placed, the vase was covered with white stones found scattered on the ground. We planted the tree on top of the hidden vase and we dedicated the placement. May all be auspicious for Haiti and peace on the planet!