FIFA WORLD CUP HAITIAN STYLE
The flag flies high over Haiti but not the red and blue one! What flag was flying high yesterday? The green and yellow of Brazil. It’s FIFA World Cup time and the Haitian people believe in one thing and one thing alone and that is either 1) that Brazil is their team and their team is going to beat Belgium or 2) Argentina is their team and Brazil had better lose to Belgium!
The Brazilian flag is everywhere you look here covering the hoods of the cars, on the rear view mirrors of the motorcycles, on their helmets, flying high on their stores and over their homes! All business shut down and the locals clamored into the streets halting traffic to a stand still in front of any TV or radio they could find (and there are not many here due to the poverty in this country).
Because I couldn’t see over the mounds of people to watch the game and because I don’t understand French or Creole – my only way to understand who had scored was by listening to the cheers of joy or rants of disgust emanating from the locals.
When the game concluded I was standing high on a mountain overlooking Cap-Haïtien and I learned my first mistake of the day i.e. that I thought there were more Brazil fans than Argentina fans and, in fact, thought Brazil had scored in the last few seconds as the cheers were widespread and deafening down below; however, it turns out surprisingly that some Haitians were indubiously happy (but only for a moment) because Brazil lost as you can tell from the video. Like me with the Dallas Cowboys, when their team (Argentina) was eliminated from the “playoffs” or in this case the semi-finals, they celebrated their rival getting crushed and that celebration, I thought, had lasted late through the night into the early morning hours of the following day with drinking and fireworks. But I made my second mistake of the day. It was not Olé Olé Olé I was hearing the Haitian people shouting here in Cap-Haïtien at the bottom of my hillside hotel and it was not fireworks I heard after the match as the sun was slipping away and the darkness was overtaking the city. It was gunfire and violent rioting that had erupted in the streets last night. What started out as a fun exciting World Cup match turned to an elimination of Brazil at the hands of Belgium and turned to catastrophe here in Haiti. The next blog entry will show how the seedier side of human nature reared its ugly head here in Haiti on July 7, 2018 and how I got caught up in it.
If you have any questions or can add something about the FIFA World Cup or the outcome of the matches in other countries and how the local people reacted when it wasn’t even their country, I would love to hear from you so submit same via the form below. Then go unlock the Travelirvana in you.