On the Way to Kenscoff

Kenscoff is a market up in the mountains outside Petionville, the rich part of Port-au-Prince. On our way there, we passed by some of the historic gingerbread houses, some huge hotels, imposing banks, and plenty of walled gardens.

As we started climbing the winding mountain roads, the conversation in the bus escalated too. Crammed in three to a seat, we had no choice but to listen to the guy in the front trying to sell some health vitamins. Then, the guy next to me started talking about his beliefs…

We’d chatted a bit at the start of the trip – people are always curious about foreigners are doing taking a bus. He told me he was a priest working to start a furniture company that practices sustainable logging techniques – “It’s not a good idea to chop down all the trees in one place at the same time.” That was what started the whole thing. One of the guys sitting in front of us commented that it would be really difficult for him to change people’s behavior, and he responded, “This generation is already lost. I will just wait for them to destroy themselves and start with another.”

Somehow they went from there to religion. Even though the guy’s a priest, he still had some controversial views about the Bible: “It’s not the first book ever written, after all.” Of course that comment made everyone sitting around us jump in with their own opinions, and slowly it turned into a debate about whether faith and absolute truth exist: the classic “subjectivity vs. objectivity, capital T truth vs. lower t truth” that we’ve talked about in my own high school classroom.

Eventually, it devolved into one guy behind us saying over and over, “You see the sky? The sky’s up there. The sky’s always up there. You see it? You know where the sky is?”

And then we got to Kenscoff, and it was on to the next adventure.

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