In Haiti, Tracing a Paradise Lost; PETER KUJAWINSKI; NY Times

Haiti – National History Park – Citadel, Sans Souci, Ramiers

The U.N. says the country is now stable, and tourism is growing.
But the former vacation paradise still has a faded beauty.

Haiti is a fixture in my mind, as permanent as memories of high school graduation or the weekend I first met my wife.

I lived there twice as an American diplomat for a total of four years since 2000, but its hold on me is not a function of time. Of all the countries I lived and worked in, Haiti stood out as the most beautiful, the most colorful and the poorest. It melds French, African and Caribbean cultures into something truly unique, less than two hours from Miami. Yet it also resists easy definition. It is an open, free place filled with secrets.

Today there are conflicting signs about where Haiti is going.

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