Thousands of Haitians will make the pilgrimage to a hilltop voodoo festival, offering a special prayer to the spirits to find them new homes and ease their plight 17 months after a massive quake. Dressed in white, they climb the hill to bathe in the sacred waterfall and take part in an annual ritual which has drawn the faithful for almost 200 years to the town of Saut d’Eau in the central Haitian plateau.
On this spot in 1847, the Catholic saint Our Lady of Mount Carmel is believed to have appeared in a nearby palm tree. It is also a sacred site for the Nation’s Voodoo community.
Jean Claude Duvalier, with a small entourage, made the journey early today, and was greeted by swarms of supporters who were eager to greet the ex-president, absent for 25 years. Many of those, who reached out to touch him, were not born when he left Haiti, February 7, 1986.
As word of his arrival spread, the crowds grew larger, but remained politely restrained as each sought a moment in their brother’s circle.
These were magic moments as the crowd reacted to the presence of a long absent friend.
Duvalier is home, at last, after a long, 25 year absence.