Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Moto Taxi Heroes in Haiti

Life in Haiti is a constant swirl of excitement, frustration, adoration, and adaptation.

One of the ways I have adapted to getting around a crowded city is by use of moto taxis.  It has turned getting from point A to point B every day an adventure that I adore.

Here are some video clips of riding on motos.  I think it looks a bit scarier than it is in these videos- but I love that it does capture some of what it is like to have an adventure each day getting from point A to point B.

I have two main moto taxi drivers that I use daily. They have become my trusted guides to the busy and hectic city that is Port Au Prince, Haiti.  They take me anywhere I need to go and I trust them to get us there safely. I literally put my life in their hands each day, and appreciate their skill and agility.

Riding a moto taxi at the beginning was one of the scariest adventures I have been on.  But now it is my every day normal and choose it over a car many times. The thrill of being out in the wind, close to the people on the streets and feeling connected to Haitian life is just a bit addicting. I do still pray a lot while I am riding on the back of a moto.   I start and end every ride with a prayer for safe keeping, and then continue to pray, chant and express appreciation for safety during much of the ride.

I get that what I am doing is dangerous and don't take my safety for granted, ever.  

I have decided it is a risk worth taking as the freedom it opens up has changed my experience of life in Haiti.   I am not restricted to going places my friends go, or on paying for expensive car taxi rides. Thanks to Alexson and Gastal and many other Haitian moto taxi drivers I am free to see whatever it is I want to see in Haiti and I love it.

Alexson picks me up at my house on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 6:30am and drives me to the Karibe Convention Center where I teach a 7am yoga class.  He is there every morning at exactly 6:30am and has never missed a day. He then picks me up from the hotel and takes me where ever I need to go that day, and in the evening picks me up and drives me all the way down to Tabarre where I do a private yoga class at 6pm.  Two days a week I start and end my day with Alexson and he is becoming one of my favorite people in Haiti.

Gastal picks me up from the Project Zen Yoga studio every Monday and Wednesday and drives me home.  I call him when I am done with class, he comes and drives me home.  He has also never missed an evening and has braved rainstorms to get me home safely.