I was looking through the drafts of posts I'd never finished just now and found this one. I'd written a long post with a list of things that had astonished me at the concert I attended at the end of November. And then the power went out before I saved most of it. AAAARGH. But I still have the first part, and I remember the thing that surprised me most, so here, in short form, is the nutshell version.
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|Orchestre Philharmonique Sainte Trinite, Port-au-Prince, November 2012|
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I loved the music. The original post I wrote had quite a bit about it. What astonished me most, however, was afterwards.
Following the concert, many people gathered around the front near the stage, chatting with musicians and old friends and acquaintances. I had gone over to greet the bishop and was turning to walk away when I heard him say, "Good evening, Mr. President." I looked to see who it was; it was definitely not President Martelly. The man who had walked up to the bishop was no one I recognized, an older man obviously in poor health. I wondered of what he might be the president and forgot all about it until one of the sisters let me in on it: the man was former president Duvalier.
I was within a foot of Baby Doc.
Hearing that was like stepping into the pages of a history book. It may be all too recent history for some, but he was gone before I even knew where Haiti was. I know he was a teenager when he came to power, but it still seems so long ago to me that it's hard to imagine his still being around, no matter what I know. And just sitting there quietly at a concert with everyone else. I'm sure there must have been guards present, but I didn't notice them. What will it be next? Aristide at the supermarket?