Night 1 in the Barrio

When we were originally talking with TEARS, one of their warnings about the Barrio was that nights could be loud. Well we thought we knew roughly what to expect from some of the loud nights in Haiti: dogs barking, roosters crowing, maybe a bit of music playing in the distance with the odd splurge of shouting or cheering. Boy were we in for a surprise.

The barrio is noisy, noisy, noisy.

All the time; loud Loud LOUD.

And the Dominicans here LOVE their music.

I don’t know that a poetic author could do justice in describing what it sounded like so its probably pointless for me to even try, but I will.

As best we could tell there were three locations, all within a few hundred meters of our new home, playing different music at the volume of a typical bar. We could have easily hosted our own party from the music of any one of these. In Calgary, a party of this volume would be grounds for an immediate call to the Police, perhaps even during the day. We literally had to raise our voices at times, from the music alone, to talk across a room. This formed the background noise.

On top of the musical background you have to then throw in kids playing & shouting, adults at the parties shouting (remember, they have to shout loud enough to hear each other ABOVE the music), the dogs barking and periodically getting into shouting matches, motorcycle’s revving by on an irregular basis, cars & bikers honking their horns regularly, and then the odd firecracker going off.

Now I don’t know if the noise ever stopped, but as long as it took me to fall asleep, and as often as I woke up from it, there was still noise. And when we woke up in the morning? Still there.

I hope this gives you a feel for what we experienced that night. I’ll end by pointing out two things:

  1. This was a no-special-event weekday (Thursday) evening, not a weekend.
  2. There was no power!

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