". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Monday, July 30, 2018

El V -- Returned from Haiti

     . . . .  El V got home about 10:15 PM last night.  He'd been away only a short time but it felt so good to have him home again!

He decided he's going to put the Travelers in the Port-au-Prince le Plaza Hotel instead of the historic Olaffson. He moved there from The Olaffson the second night to check it out, as one does when prospecting for the best places to take Travelers.  Even though the veranda balconies of the Olaffson can't be beat, he loved it, and the balcony verandas are good at le Plaza too.  The photos in Google Images do look as though this is a very pleasant spot.

     . . . . He brought me back some beautiful face soap -- France and things done in the French way are deeply embedded in Haiti's history and culture after all.  These are made from natural, organic, local ingredients and fragrances. Also big blocks of chocolate to give to my amigas -- Haiti, like eastern Cuba, produces cocoa.  But he couldn't find any cocoa butter, still the best stuff for the skin, winter or summer.

He also brought back a toilet paper roller for the bathroom.  It's in the shape of an octopus head and arms, hand hammered out of tin. Haiti is perhaps the most intensely visual culture on the planet.  Everywhere one turns there is something.  Hand-made, all Haitians seem to have the talent to create beauty and color out of almost anything.  Their iron and metal work is particularly famous for how fine it is.

The octopus was sitting on the bathroom window sill last night. The moon these last nights has been so white, big and bright.  I got up about 4 AM -- sleep walked to the bathroom as one does -- and there was this -- shape! on the bathroom window! silhouetted by the moonlight behind it, and I suddenly woke up -- what in the world!

Listening to the music this morning that he'd recorded in P-a-P, I was struck by just how good it is.  The Travelers are going to like this trip a lot!

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