Haiti – Round Two!!

So I am back in Haiti coaching my 3-Day Team!!! I have been here a few days and am sad to leave this afternoon! I remember watching the movie “The Serpent and the Rainbow” when I was a teenager and thinking to myself: “Haiti is a country that I will NEVER go to!!!” I didn’t even want to travel to a nice resort in the Dominican Republic a few years ago because of the DR’s proximity to Haiti! Now, I have been here twice and both times I have been very sad to leave. It does help that I have the most wonderful hosts! They have become good friends — they are a lot of fun to be around, are very interesting and incredibly good people. The food here is fantastic. I am a big eater and I love trying new things. Everything is so fresh and full of flavor. The best part of this trip has been our visits to some art galleries. Haitian art is soooo amazing — I think this is so because of the combination of the African and French cultures as well as the social and religious climate. It is sought after by many art collectors. I am so excited to be bringing home 2 pieces of art with me. One piece is a painting of some horses grazing — it is very rich in color. The second piece is voodoo artwork made from buttons — the craftmanship is amazing. Hopefully I am not traveling home with any dark voodoo spirits! Voodoo isn’t all dark; there is a very beautiful nature loving side to it as well. Unfortunately the rest of the world is only interested in the dark side — admittedly it is a very fascinating part of the religion. Some of the Dark Voodoo Art is sooo cool, but I really couldn’t imagine someone wanting it in their home! Best to be kept in a museum or gallery! Last night we went to dinner at this restaurant with outdoor seating and live Caribbean music. Tons of people were dancing. I wish I had my camera… sorry!
The horses (my main purpose for being here) were great too! These people continue to be some of my favorite students. They are so eager to learn and very teachable — a real joy for me to work with. I now have the huge task of getting my team qualified and prepared for the Games next summer (CAC Games — Central American and Caribbean Games to be held in Puerto Rico in July 2010). Fortunately a few of the horses can be with me in the states, so I can monitor their training, soundness and fitness throughout and then a couple of the riders can fly up to compete in the States. Haiti does not have any competitions, so a couple of the riders here that cannot travel to the states will need to try to qualify in the DR or Haiti must hold their own qualifiers here (another huge undertaking). I feel confident that we have good horses and riders with the desire and ability to achieve their goals. I am really excited and honored to be helping this wonderful group of people!


  1. Sounds amazing! Who knew Haiti had such a wonderful collection of art, from the way you describe it! Do you have a photo of the horse painting you bought?? I’d love to see it. Congrats on everything and best of luck to your Haitian team! Great stuff on the Convention as well!! 🙂

  2. Halle DIllon says


    What is the status of your riders and their horses in the aftermath of the earthquake? This entire situation is incomprehensible. Fingers crossed for them.