On All Saints' Day, my Haitian culture and Kreyol teacher Emmanuel Milien graciously took Jenn and I on a trip to Sodo, a beautiful waterfall on the other side of Mirebalais from Cange. Sodo is a Haitian Vodou site that attracts many worshipers and visitors for services around the year. Corresponding with All Saints' Day, November 1-7 is one such large Vodou celebration, and we went in pursuit of a cultural experience. Though we actually found little activity at the falls, we had a few interesting stops along the way.
Once we passed through Mirebalais, we stopped at a kleren distillery. Kleren is like Haitian moonshine, and it's commonly consumed during parties, wakes, Vodou ceremonies, and other celebratory occasions. It's made from cane sugar, though is not refined like rum.
|Sodo. During the pilgrimage events, the falls are covered in people bathing in the water.|
Here are a few pictures of the village of Sodo.
|The new Zanmi Lasante university hospital in Mirebalais|
I enjoyed the exposure to this part of Haitian culture--a part that is misunderstood and unfairly stigmatized in American entertainment. My general curiosity in Vodou has provoked mixed reactions among friends here in Cange, however. Now that I know more about the religion and how it is practiced, I'm looking forward to more in depth conversations about it and how it is perceived within the culture here.