Sosua reminds me very much of certain places in Jamaica, Guyana, and Honduras (Roatan). Immediately I feel at home, the people are extremely friendly and not mendicant like in Jamaica or Belize. The locals in Sosua speak several languages as their survival depends upon tourism and their ability to communicate. For a tourist city, the items are quite inexpensive, it is just ridiculous. For dinner, I had sea bass curry with fried plantains! Oh, what a dream! My host, Patty and her husband (Canadians) were so friendly I felt as though I was in that proverbial “great community.” They own the Jolly Roger Bar which is around the corner from my hotel, El Rancho, which is a stone’s throw from the famous Sosua beach.
Many vendors line the streets selling their wares to the tourists. The usual tourist items. The paintitng however, were to me, quite captivating. The vendors are Hatian, and according to the story, so is the artist. In all my travels around the world, I have never bought a painting, here, i was moved to buy two. The art is compelling, moving and melancholy. The subjects seem to breathe, address the viewer with doleful eyes; eyes full of promise and hope and broken dreams. Lips full and primed, ready to explode into tales of sorrow and grief that hides behind a mask of youth. Perhaps it was my particular state of mind at the time of my visit that resonated with the plight of these women and children, or maybe it was just that the Hatian artist, steeped in the plight of the endless debacle that seems to follow Haiti, are extremely skilled in transferring this emotion to colour and canvas.