Haiti, Turks & Caicos Islands, Fort Lauderdale!

Submitted by eagle on Sat, 01/18/2020 - 18:51

Struggling to make it.

Wouldn't let me on the plane without an exit ticket.

Had to borrow cash to get a ticket.

Now that I'm here, they won't let me in without a specific address.

Can't log in to paypal.

It's not sending the password reset info.

Back in PayPal.

Not enough $ for room.

We'll see what their "other options" are!

I'm guessing a holding cell.

Maybe they'll let me out on a day pass?!

Seems like detention may be it.

Yep, they took me to detention.

At first I thought I'd be the only one there.

They drove me to a building. It was a comfortable ride, in a minivan.

Boring scenery. Glad I didn't walk.

We got to the detention center. They even assisted me with my luggage.

When we got in, they put all my stuff in a locker. Asked me to take out a change of clothes, for a shower.

I went up to the shower. Refreshing.

There were a bunch of other people in the detention center. I became somewhat apprehensive. They showed me the different cell blocks, showing me where the Haitians, Jamaicans, and Sri Lankans were. Sri Lankans? Weird.

As I was asking myself where they'd put me, they showed me to a smaller cell, just big enough for one person. I had my own cell!

Relieved, I looked around. A mat to sleep on. Not much else.

People paced. That was a constant. I sometimes would tell time (there wasn't a clock) by the pacing of Sri Lankans in the cell opposite mine.

There were a large number of Sri Lankans, sharing a couple of adjoining cells. I didn't find out exactly how they got there, or how they planned to get out. They had been there for three months already!

I began pacing in place later. It makes the place feel bigger.

The place was peaceful. People got along, even among the different populations. Prisoners laughed and joked with guards.

They brought food and drinks, which were delicious. For dinner, we had white rice with stew and salad, and cola. For breakfast, there was a spaghetti dish (a common breakfast in the Caribbean).

I didn't see any female prisoners. Not sure whether they had a different block, or if none were detained.

In the morning after my arrival, they brought me to an immigration officer. She asked me a bunch of questions, not all of which made sense to me. She said that I wouldn't be let on my flight back to the US, because of paperwork. Concerned, I went back to my holding cell.

Later, in the afternoon, they brought me back down to the lobby area, as time was running out. They told me that I would go!

I was driven back to the airport in the same minivan. Guards assisted me to checkout. My ticket didn't include baggage, my bank card still didn't work, and I only had a wad of American ones and a few Haitian bills, not enough to check in my bag. I asked one of the guards for a twenty, and with that I was off!

After landing in Fort Lauderdale, what a day! Woke up in a detention center in a country that most people haven't even heard of (Turks & Caicos), landed in a fancy city in the USA!

Feels funny to be back in the Miami area. I remember much, but I see it differently. I feel like I'm a different person now, after not even a full year away.

Eagle Gamma

Each country seems to have some remarkably beautiful places, kind people, and tasty food, among other features. We may have stereotypes about places we've never been, but so far whenever I go to a country I often fall for it, and have a hard time leaving. I felt sad leaving Haiti, a country that only two weeks before I felt nervous about entering.

Leaving Haiti, I walked to the airport (by the Hugo Chavez park, Venezuela has donated millions to Haiti). Bought a bunch of breakfast and drinks. Many of the drinks and some of my remaining cash I gave to some of the numerous Haitians hanging out in the area. Bank was closed, so I couldn't exchange the rest of my Haitian cash there. A guy nearby was holding an American bill, I asked him and he was fine with exchanging. A group of guys nearby came over and watched. As I was walking away, someone offered to buy my bike. I had been wanting to do that too! We agreed on a price, I took my bags off the bike and walked the rest of the way to the airport!

In the airport, they wouldn't let me board without an exit ticket. With my bank challenges and not much remaining cash, I couldn't afford any of the tickets! At the last minute, ran into a couple of Canadians, who lent me enough!

Buying Freedom!

It's hard, and often risky, to travel at all, let alone through countries like Haiti without enough resources! But it's fun, interesting, and makes for some memories!

Planning to spend a short while in Fort Lauderdale, fixing bank situation. Then, probably go to another Caribbean island!

Back in Florida, long blocks, not much wifi.

Found a shopping cart. Using it to get around the city with all my luggage but without a bike. Homeless touring!

Trying Kava in Ft. Lauderdale. Not sure what it does. Tastes like walnut.

Served cold. In a milky brew. In a metal bowl.

Long days!

I thought I'd go for a quick walk to find wifi. After many hours, just found it!

Now catching up. Computer's having more problems.

It's a big city, built for cars.

Tough to get around by foot.

Looking forward to leaving!

Kava apparently relaxes, not stimulates.

Feels better!