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I have been an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator. Currently, I am a faculty member in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. My M.Ed. and Ph.D. had a focus on the educational and linguistic experiences of children who moved from other countries to Canada.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Citadelle and the Last Day In Haiti: CJ's Perspective

Today we went to a massive building called the Citadelle. I was amazed at how big the building was and what it was made for. But the journey to the Citadelle was the most interesting part of the time there.

The Citadelle was a fort made by the the freed Haitians in the early 1800s. It was completed in 1816 (I think). They made the fort because they were scared that the French would attack their country so they needed a place to protect themselves. When we looked at the building we were amazed at the size and width of the building. They said that the building wasn't made of concrete but it was made of cow blood, lime stone, sand, and water.

 But the real journey started at the bottom of the mountain which the Citadelle was on. We had the option of taking a donkey up or just to walk. We chose to walk and it was time to be on our way. As we looked around the corner, we could see that the path was very steep. We knew that it was going to be a bit of a hike. We started climbing and already it was tiring. The path wasn't the same as back in Canada when they are straight and they have nice gravel, this path though had medium sized rocks mixed together with concrete. And with the steep incline it made the walk even harder. We also had a tour guide with us to point out certain monuments along the way. 

We had left at around 8:30 am and my dad said that the walk would be about and hour and a half so, when we looked at the time and it read nine o'clock. I knew that it would still be a while so I prepared for the worst. As we came around the corner, though, we could see a very large building. The tour guide said that it was the Citadelle! We made it very fast! We climbed up a bit further so that we were in the fortress and we were level with black, iron objects. We went closer and they turned out to be cannons! We looked to the side and could see the heavy cannon ball (no pun intended) that could be put in the cannon at any time. We were so fascinated that we almost couldn't hear the tour guide tell us to come over to go inside.

We went inside and we were taken to the places where the people would stay at the fort. It was very tall and almost condo like. We were then taken to a jail cell that a prisoner would stay. It was underneath the ground which I was very interested because the prisoner wouldn't be able to get out since there would be no possible way to climb up to the window. Another place we went to was the top of the Citadelle. Now this building is about 150 feet and is on top of a mountain. We looked over the rooftop and could see the top of other mountains that were around us. The view was one of the best I have ever seen. I thought it was cool that we were in between clouds because that's how high up we were. Then it was time to come down and be done with the tour. But there was one last hurrah when we were going back down to the path and we saw a couple UN (United Nations) soldiers that were just hanging around and we asked if we could take a picture with them. They said yes and they said to look tough in this photo.

Next we went to the palace (Sans Souci) which the king of the north (Henri Christophe) was. It wasn't much of a palace as much of it was run down because its been there for two hundred years. We got another tour and it was very fascinating to see all the rooms in the palace and the windows of it as well. The tour guide said that the king ended up committing suicide because he was too parranoid about the French. We saw the room that he killed himself in which I thought was very interesting. Also I purchased a few paintings that I thought were very colourful and I really liked them.
Above is Justin Metelus, the Director of the Ministry of Education for the North Department with some of our group.
In this photo we took a picture with our amazing driver Milo. He looks really tough so we thought we should be too.

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