New President "Sweet Micky" Martelly was inaugurated yesterday. The streets were empty as thousands went downtown to watch the proceedings live on Champs de Mars, while everyone else stayed home to follow via radio or television. Of course, the dear current government cut power to the city for much of the day, making it impossible for your average Haitian to watch TV, and I am told by friends who did watch that former President Preval refused to actually place the ceremonial sash of authority over Martelly's head, as is tradition. He gave it to someone else who then adorned Tet Kale. I appreciate the good example of our former President - thank you for showing children and adults in this nation that we should cling to our differences and use every opportunity to show our opponents that we dislike them.
Regardless, it was a day of celebration in Port-au-Prince. Many people stayed up partying all night Friday night in anticipation (I know because the music from the parties was blasting when I went to bed at 10pm and was still going strong when I woke at 6). Walls, telephone poles, trees, and even the street have been painted with his colors, pink and white, and last night, a real fireworks show, the first I've ever seen in Haiti, went off from the mountain high above the city, so that everyone could see it.
The people love him, but now the real test starts. He has made promises. Will he be able to keep them? And how long will the people wait if the promises are slow in coming to fruition?