What started out as students rioting and fighting with each other on Thursday near the Presdential Palace, in downtown Port au Prince escalated yesterday and got bigger. On Thursday, I drove right into the rioting until we saw chairs and rocks being thrown...fires were burning on the street. I turned our truck around so fast, probably was a world record...I was really surprised that I did not see it happening from a distance, but then driving in PAP, you are only really looking at the cars near you since it is like driving bumper cars most of the time...and I really do not have much of a chance to look ahead further.
Yesterday, others joined into the rioting. It is like "fun", "Hey, there are some students rioting and fighting, let's join in!" --- I imagine young men around PAP saying this to themselves.
As a result, right by the Justice Palace some cars got burned. Also, Parquet closed its gates (located on John Brown Ave.) and the rioters scaled the walls and gates to get in. (I ran into that yesterday, here we went again...I am getting really good at whipping that big truck around!)
Pretty much the entire downtown ended up being closed down to traffic which created such congestion that no car was moving anywhere...not that traffic isn't already horrendous in and around downtown.
The Immigration office was still open, though it is only a few hundred yards from Parquet, but they were not doing anything much at all because they had no electricity.
Ministry of Interior (MOI) was shut down too. The workers were sitting around waiting for a bus to pick them up to take them into the countryside because the Director of Political Affairs, Mr. Guignard's sister had died and they were all going to attend the funeral today (Saturday). Thus, they were not receiving anybody for adoption files...and since they are only open for appointments/walk ins on Thursday and Friday, we'll have to wait until next week.
And the crazy thing was that after all that driving around downtown and trying to get things accomplished, trying to avoid rioters as they moved in hoards...in our NON-airconditioned truck...one adoptive parent got mad at us and said something to the effect that we must be sitting on our butts and must be eating bon-bons all day! HELLO!?!?!