Sunday, August 21, 2011

Haiti Rocks

Whenever I return home from Haiti, the TSA and customs people at the Miami airport give me weird looks when they see the large rocks I have stuffed into my luggage.  Most people returning home from the Caribbean bring back jewelry and rum.  I usually bring home coffee, occasionally vanilla.  Almost always I bring home a few rocks.  I mean, there's nothing contraband about them, and they have to let them go through, but that doesn't stop them from backing up the xray belt a time or two.  Every time they say to me, "Is this bag yours? We need to look inside."

The snow-white rocks in the upper picture come from the north shore of La Gonave. They have been made smooth from thousands of years of ocean waves washing over them.  I have wondered how many swashbuckling pirates have trampled over them on their way out to their ship.

This middle picture is of a couple chunks of earthquake debris I picked up.  Iconic, don't you think, of a country that has been laid so low.  "Ayiti kraze," someone said. "Haiti is broken."

In the bottom picture are rocks I picked up in the middle of La Gonave where we hope to locate a base camp for our work in the future.  I'm not a geologist, but to me they look like old coral, which makes me wonder if ancient La Gonave may have been an underwater reef.

I love pictures and I sure take my share of them, but they're a poor substitute for holding relics like these in your hands, which I just have to do every once in awhile.  You just have to wonder what all they've seen.

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