Thread: Adventure driving in Haiti

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Mount Vernon WA
    Posts
    470

    Default Adventure driving in Haiti

    I have been working in Haiti on and off for the last 4 years - mostly working on the energy systems for the remote hospitals and clinics. Its part volunteer / part paid. Haiti is a challenging place but the need is so great that I keep coming back.

    On my current visit we drove from Port-au-Prince (the main city in the center) to Cap Haitien (the second biggest city in the north) via the route along the coast and then back by the inland route through the central plateau (which everyone said was a crazy way to go). Lots of really bad roads - although the EU and UN is doing a lot of work on them and then are much better now compared to when I started working here four years ago. Also a lot of big trucks and busses barreling down the roads to watch out for on every turn. It was about 200 miles (one way) and took about 6 hours.

    The current vehicle I am using is a Mazda 4x4 pickup - four door with a diesel - also sold as a ford here with only different stickers. Past trips have used a variety of diesel Nissan Patrols and Land Cruisers - both of which are very common here.

    Since I spend a lot of time in the small remote hospitals I have often visited the back area of them where they keep the worn out / wrecked trucks - yesterday I took a picture which I though I should post on here. All vehicles have a short life here and then are recycled again and again - sometimes ending up as some kind of hammered art object sold on the streets.

    4X4 Behind Hospital.jpg

    Also - since the UN has a large presence here - especially after the earthquake - they bring in a wide variety of odd military trucks and 4x4s. These include Unimogs, MANs, Renault (with portal axles), G-wagens, and of course more Toyotas and Nissans.

    Occasionally I see Maharindia's and some small chinese trucks called "JMC". The Haitians really like the old suzuki samuri / sidekicks / trackers and old diesel cars such Mercedes and Peugeots (usually with a sticker on the rear window for some east coast ivy league college).

    Yesterday I spotted something new - I saw three Jeep J-8 with white canvas covers. I did a quick web search and found the following photos and report:

    UN Jeep J8.jpgUN Jeep J8 on road.jpg

    The U.S. Army Security Assistance Command successfully facilitated the delivery of 10 J8 Jeeps to the Uruguayan Army Jan. 27 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti program.

    The delivery was part of an expedited mission to replace 50-year-old Russian vehicles that are no longer supportable. According to USASAC officials, under normal circumstances the shipment would have involved a 15-week process, but due to an urgent need from the Uruguayan Army USASAC was able to compress the delivery to 15 days.

    The Defense Contract Management Agency accepted the first shipment of vehicles Jan. 12 in Detroit and the Uruguayan Army took possession Jan. 27 at the Port-au-Prince seaport. An additional 24 vehicles will be delivered in a second shipment scheduled for March.

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    Christopher

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Manassas, VA
    Posts
    31
    Not bad!
    I was in Leogane 2 summers ago, helping patch up the interior of the hospital there.
    They have a double cab diesel nissan d22
    anddddddddddd a 70 series troopie. Tried not to drool on it too much.
    Funny thing about driving there is the high volume of motorcycles and the neever ending honking
    1998 caR50 XE
    1984 FJ60-old man's rig-all stock plus rust modifications

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