As you all know, I am now in Haiti. We all knew this was coming and now it’s here, but for some reason I lost the urge to write about it over the past couple weeks. It was one of the most tumultuous times of my life and I just wasn’t into it. I didn’t even take pictures during that time. Maybe that was a sign that I should have taken the time to do it, this site was a sort of therapy for me over the 5 months that Jillian and I were apart. It probably would have been good for my psychy.
But I would be lying if I didn’t say that I am freaking out a little bit. It started on the plane to Port-au-Prince where I was thinking about what I had done: I left a plush job, benefits, fast food, family, a comfortable place to live (thanks to my awesome roommates/parents). All that would now be gone.
That was compounded by the fact that I was FREAKING OUT about our bags getting to Haiti without being stolen or lost. We had such an enormous amount of stuff in them that I swear I didn’t sleep the night before because I was worried about the Wii we were checking. Not to mention there is now a rule restricting passengers to only one carry-on, and Jillian and I both had two (fragile) carry-on bags each. We arrived in PAP, after sneaking by the the man checking those extra carry-ons in Miami, with our bags intact and everything safe.
Now that we are settled and our bags are unpacked I can move on to freaking out about what I am going to be doing here. I’m totally clueless with the language. I do know how to say, “Mwen pa pale Kreyol”, which means, “I do not speak Creole.” I also started talking to Jillian about what I was going to do the next day, and we had nothing. This was compounded by a nervousness on Jillian’s part because her organization is going through somewhat of an upheaval. We were a mess.
But the next day began when we were woken up by my new Creole teacher. We didn’t expect him to come, so when he did, it was a good way to start the day. I had my first lesson which went well but I still know less Creole than many of the infants here. I then went on a walk to the grocery store (market) to pick up some flash cards. Let’s just say I don’t fit in. I was the only blanc walking around and you could tell. People would look at me with either disgust or complete surprise. But it was good to get out of the mission house and be with the people. When I learn more of the language I will feel a lot more comfortable doing this than I did yesterday.
We then went to Jillian’s old co-workers house for a party with ice cream and beers. The house overlooks all of Port-au-Prince, the view was amazing, and that’s when I realized I need to be bringing my camera with me more. But we played Pictionary where an English speaker would be pitted against a Creole speaker, and it was hilarious. The answers had to be in Creole, and wouldn’t you know it, on the first one I guessed the right answer!
Ok, so I am running out for 10 days to go north…I will write about it when I get back. Please bear with me, I am trying to get settled and figure out where everything goes, but once I get into a rhythm I will have plenty of posts here. I already have some pictures to put up, trust me.
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