Fat or thin, people in poor megacities are beset by disease. Here’s why

by Rashmee

Posted on June 7, 2014


Speaking of Haiti’s burden of disease, as the medical jargon goes, the Journal of Urban Health offers an interesting take on the health implications of being poor and living in a city in the developing world. (Click here to read an abstract). Going by that reasoning the life and ill-health of Port au Prince is … Continue reading “Fat or thin, people in poor megacities are beset by disease. Here’s why”

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Port au Prince, Haiti and its pre-Victorian notions of dirt and disease

by Rashmee

Posted on June 2, 2014


Unfortunately, The Guardian’s ‘Sick Cities’ series makes me think of Port au Prince, which is probably one of the least healthful places I’ve ever lived. Anywhere. This is a city reminiscent of pre-Victorian times with open sewers and shared toilets out in the open. In Port au Prince, a couple of hours of rain will … Continue reading “Port au Prince, Haiti and its pre-Victorian notions of dirt and disease”

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Haiti’s attempts to tackle Chikungunya: Ham-handed or the only way?

by Rashmee

Posted on May 30, 2014


On Tuesday night, I witnessed, at first hand, some of the Haitian government’s attempts to tackle the spread of Chikungunya. A small truck rushed through a crowded marketplace trailing huge white puffs. It looked like something out of Harry Potter but the hapless pedestrians and stallholders didn’t look entranced. Instead, there was a scramble to … Continue reading “Haiti’s attempts to tackle Chikungunya: Ham-handed or the only way?”

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Imagine a new Caribbean tradition of Flamboyant tree viewing picnics

by Rashmee

Posted on May 11, 2014


This lyrical piece on Sakura, Japan’s short, intensely beautiful spring season of cherry-tree flowering, the ‘blossom front’ that is monitored by the Japanese tourism agency and remarkable tradition of hanami or flower-viewing picnics, made me think of the Flamboyant tree. During Sakura, writes Rebecca Giggs, “the cherries’ high, white foam pours through avenues that lead … Continue reading “Imagine a new Caribbean tradition of Flamboyant tree viewing picnics”

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Tres bon gout: A feast for all the senses in Milot, northern Haiti

by Rashmee

Posted on April 4, 2014


It’s hard to forget the virtues of the cashew nut if you’ve had Madame Maurice’s delectable Poulet aux noix at Milot’s Lakou Lakay. The good lady served us a plentiful spread, which her husband assured us was typical of the region. This included Patat avec morue; Medley legumes de plats; de riz avec djon djon … Continue reading “Tres bon gout: A feast for all the senses in Milot, northern Haiti”

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World’s most expensive cities? Curiously, Harare and Port au Prince too

by Rashmee

Posted on March 8, 2014


Now that Singapore has been anointed the world’s most expensive city by the Economist Intelligence Unit, consider the rationale, as described by Adam Withnall in The Independent: –       It was placed ahead of 130 other cities based on more than 400 different price indicators, from basic groceries to the cost of heating –       It’s the most … Continue reading “World’s most expensive cities? Curiously, Harare and Port au Prince too”

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Port au Prince: Bad roads, worse driving,appalling arrogant UN vehicles

by Rashmee

Posted on February 27, 2014


Yesterday, we drove to the supermarket near our house and unusually, were back home in just 25 minutes flat. (That included whipping in and out of the supermarket in a mere five minutes). It was a strange and glorious red-letter day. Let me explain. Belmart Supermarche, Tabarre, in the Haitian capital, is a 10-minute walk … Continue reading “Port au Prince: Bad roads, worse driving,appalling arrogant UN vehicles”

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If it’s mere colour that’s the criteria for a vibrant city, try Port au Prince, Haiti

by Rashmee

Posted on February 24, 2014


  This is a simply magical list of the 10 most vibrant, most colourful cities in the world, ranging from Rio de Janeiro’s favelas to Jodhpur, India’s ‘blue city’ (as opposed to Jaipur, which is the pink one). But methinks it’s just the teeniest bit misleading, because Cinque Terre, Italy, is not a city at … Continue reading “If it’s mere colour that’s the criteria for a vibrant city, try Port au Prince, Haiti”

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Nearly 3,000 Haitians tell the UN what it takes to have a better life

by Rashmee

Posted on February 21, 2014


As of Thursday, February 20, UN data says, 2,950 Haitians took part in its largest global survey ever, which is an attempt to find out what people everywhere really really want. (N.B.: The word ‘cholera’ was probably not mentioned.) Another note: Indians were the largest group of people with opinions. Let me explain, with the help … Continue reading “Nearly 3,000 Haitians tell the UN what it takes to have a better life”

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Here’s how and why Port au Prince, Haiti, uses its head – of broccoli

by Rashmee

Posted on January 28, 2014


It was this recipe that reminded me I might have to wait awhile to roast a whole head of cauliflower with impunity. This is not a vegetable you routinely see in Port au Prince, except for relatively expensive, plastic-wrapped, imported heads in the supermarket. They rarely look very fresh and it’s discombobulating anyway not to … Continue reading “Here’s how and why Port au Prince, Haiti, uses its head – of broccoli”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK