The Lonely Road Up to Kapyait

Working in Haiti, there seem to be people in nearly every square inch of space in this little island country. Even as I work more in the country, I still see people everywhere. While I am naturally an extrovert, everyone needs their space. 

Before I lived in Haiti, I used to take time by myself all the time. I find, like many of us, the importance of gaining perspective when I have spent time outside and done something challenging. This can be done in the form of a hike, a kayak ride, or something else. In Haiti, I have sometimes craved this time alone. 

Then, we moved to Seboy. This little area of Haiti is nestled right in the mountain foothills. It is beautiful, and I love waking in the morning to see this beautiful view. 

One day, I decided to take a hike up to Kapyiat. This is an area of Haiti that is still relatively untouched. The group here is still quite tribal, and they live off the land in super simplicity. I have often been inspired by these folks, but this hike helped me to remember both the joy and blessing it is to live here, and the hardship people face here, too. 

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A local group paved this one stretch of road. Usually, cars park here if anyone wants to hike. It's nearly impossible to get up any farther without a motorcycle (which can *technically* go the whole way). Hiking up this large hill is certainly one of the most challenging parts of the hike, and it happens first. So, that's nice. 

This area of Haiti is also less deforested than other parts. Banana trees and palms line the dirt footpaths. It is crazy hot in the direct sunlight, but the shade provides some great reprieve from the sun. 

Houses and even a clinic line the hike up, reminding me that these are people who live here. Day in and day out, they experience the beauty of the mountain and also the pain that this mountain can bring with isolation and mudslides. 

Finally, the destination is reached. It is a local watering hole, where an entire community gets its drinking water. For our community down the mountain, it is the run off that comes through the canal system. For me, right now, it is a cool and refreshing welcome. 

The entire hike is full of people, vegetation, and more. As I gaze down the road home to my seaside village, I am thankful for the moment of rest and reconnection. Even if it is just to remember that we are never fully alone. 

Steph Robinson