Bainet doesn't have electricity, the few places that do are tourist and vacations houses owned by Rich Haitians and very few foreigners, powered with generators and in some rare instances, solar panel. Interest in Bainet is quietly growing and have led to a few mansions being built there. When I hear such news, I get both happy and sad. Happy that Bainet is being noticed, but scared that people might take advantage of this little secret of Haiti and pollute it. Regular people from Bainet doesn't have electricity, they use kerosene lamps throughout the house as lights, but who really has time to think about electricity with so much to do. Yes it gets dark at 7 PM, but that's when everyone, adults and children alike are sitting in the lakou, telling stories, passing the legends, one generation to the next. Several Bainet visitors, along with Catholic organizations and Bainet Diaspora have donated money and materials to help build many schools, roads, clinics and so many more to help Bainet move towards development. One of the biggest of such contribution was the construction of an asphalted road for more than 2 millions US dollars. The cell phone company Digicel, has installed antennas throughout Bainet, bringing its population closer to the outside world, at the same time emphasizing all Its amazing potentials. Now, over 60% of the people possess a cell phone.
I am in the process of writing a book, a part of the book talks about my childhood. And as I was going back in time, I remember my mom sending me to my grandmother's house in Bainet to spend my entire summer vacation. I started to realize, that going to Bainet was probably the greatest thing ever in my life. Having lived in big cities such as New York City, Miami, Chicago and Boston. Bainet is my favorite of them all. To me, Bainet is the Paradise on earth. You might have all the luxury in the world around you, it wouldn't take you long to fall in love with Bainet and want to live there. I know that this might sound as a surprise for many of you reading this. " You don't really hear people talk about Haiti, and associate it with paradise . Well, here's a story of one of the best places in the planet. The Untouched Paradise of Haiti.
With a population of just over 166.000 inhabitants, Bainet is an Arrondissement in the Sud-Est Department ( South East Department) of Haiti. It is a sublime place that makes Haiti proud. Haiti is the name given to the Country by the Amerindian Natives meaning Land of high mountains, and Bainet is the best place to prove you that. Mountains in Bainet are spectacularly tall, and covered with thick vegetation. It is one of the very few places in Haiti, where deforestation is not at all concern. The majority of the population, are peasants. Bainet has one of the friendliest people in Haiti. Very family oriented, sociable and people of Bainet also retain some of the best traditions. Bainet does not only capture you with its numerous breath taking views, but also the charm of its people; its traditions will make you nothing but fall in love with it. I've never met a people as peasant, gentle and kindhearted as the people of Bainet. Along the paths, strangers always stop to great each other. Doesn't matter how much in a rush they're in, it is just common practice and politeness to spare a few minutes for greeting. I remember my grandma stopping over 5 times on her way to wherever she was going. Whether it was on her way to the market which usually takes place 3 times a week, or on her way to the St Francois Chapel in Gandou. Most kids today would find this extremely boring and annoying, but I always felt a sense of pride and, respect towards not just the elderly but people in general. To this day when I come back to the States, I always come back with a sense of appreciation and humanity. Crime is practically non existent in Bainet, the biggest crime I've heard as a kid till my adulthood, was probably when Mr Andreliz's husband, Caspien; deliberately let his goats ate out some of Mr Pradel Cornfield. When there is a confrontation, the town oldest, usually a very respected man well in his late 80's or 90's settles disputes.
Agriculture is the only source of revenue for Bainet, everyone rely on agriculture. Although their agriculture is still archaic, due to non existence of heavy machinery and equipment that would make things easier. They use a system call "Kombit". The system is a very simple but extremely effective way of harvesting. Farmers get together and set up a plan and dates to help themselves harvest. They will all help each other out, one after the other. If Bainet is fully exploited, it would be a very popular agricultural production part of the country, due to its very fertile soil. Anything can grow in Bainet, usually say the inhabitants. The most popular crops in Bainet are corn, beans, white mills and fruits. When it comes to fruits, Bainet should be crowned for having the most variety of all type of delicious fruits in lots of quantities. The most popular are mangoes, apricot, peach, guava, cherry, avocado, coconut, star apple or as it is called in Haiti ( Caimite) and sapodilla and many fruits that I can't even remember their names, are grown extensively throughout Bainet. Bread trees, citrus, papaya, atemoya, sugar apple, passion fruit and all types of delicious, rare fruits are abundant in Bainet. Bainet also produces some of the best coffee in the Caribbean. Due to its mountainous geographic and cool climate. But, unfortunately like the rest of all of its potentials, coffee production is not exploited to the fullest, and the very little that is produced are most of the time for personal consumption.
Bainet is very multiracial, but the majority of the population of Bainet, are of African descent. Bainet is home to the exotic Haitian ethnicity called Marabou. Marabou consists of people with either dark skin with gorgeous blue, green or hazel eyes. Or dark skin with European features, straight, wavy or curly hair. They are a mix of Natives, French, Africans, and Arabic. Marabou is an ethnicity that originates and is endemic to Bainet.
There are no cars to take you from one place to another within Bainet, cars do come from Port-au-Prince and Jacmel to transport goods to the main stations. But only tourists and rich visitors from out of town have cars, and they don't really stay for long. At the pleasure of the people of Bainet because they are very proud of their paradise land and are very reluctant about letting many people come and pollute the place. Therefore, air pollution in Bainet doesn't exist. One of the best feeling about being in Bainet, is waking up early in the morning, and take a very deep breath. My grandmother lived on top of a hill with the river less than a minute at the bottom. Whenever I visit, I always wake up at 6 in the morning, go to the tip of the cliff where there is this amazing guava tree. I would sit on a rock, overlooking the surrounding mountains taking deep breath of fresh air, and enjoying the sounds of the river passing through the rocks. The temperature in Bainet is very cool, with moderately hot summer. Rivers are almost everywhere. Not navigable rivers, but large rocky springs. That's where people do their laundry and wash themselves. Drinkable water is not a problem in Bainet at all. There are many protected, secluded springs throughout Bainet where people collect their water, everyone respect those springs, since according to legends, they're protected by a. One of the freshest water I've drank in my life was in Bainet. Trees are so wildly spread in Bainet, that fresh water springs are found almost everywhere. There are many untouched mountains, majestic mountains where there's absolutely no human interaction. Those mountains offers some spectacular sightseeing and would be ideal for hikers. The governments of Haiti, past and present, never took swift measure to protect Bainet and develop part of it into a tourist and vacation hot spot. But the people of Bainet, are determined to preserve the natural beauty of their proud land. Besides countless rivers and amazing mountains as far as the eyes can see, Bainet is a Coastal town, but the majority of its population lives in the mountains, making it the only place in the entire country, where all the beaches are still virgin. Which means, have never been exploited and rarely have experienced human interaction. Unless of course I'm in town!
I have chosen to talk about Bainet both in my book and here on the website, not only because I am personally attached to it, the reason is much deeper than that. I've chosen Bainet, because every time you turn on an international news channel, flip a few pages of a news paper, or browse countless of websites pages, the worsts about the human character is portrayed to describes Haiti and it's people. Sometimes, even our own websites. But what about our true character as a nation, the dignity and pride that truly defines us as a people. Yes we have our challenges; it is no secret that we face many difficult obstacles daily, but just like the people of Bainet, we Haitians are the friendliest, kindest people one can encounter.
If you are truly seeking an experience that is not only rewarding, but truly one of a kind, Bainet is the place to seek that.
Leave the crazy city life behind and come join the people of Bainet, for a peaceful, quiet, fun, mind relaxing vacation. Remember, no is a stranger in Bainet!
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