I worked very hard to learn as much Haitian Creole as I could before the trip. I have to admit it paid off in spades. While visiting with Betanide and her family sitting in her little shack we were asking various questions about her daily life. As the others asked questions in English, Pastor Rosenthal translated into Creole. I wanted to know how she got to the city to shop. When I asked the question in Creole, Pastor began repeating what I had said, also in Creole, and then caught himself and stopped short. Everyone, including Pastor, had a good laugh as I pushed him towards the door as if to say “I got this.” Creole is actually quite simple. I had asked, “Eske kijan ou pral na Port-au-Prince? Tap-tap?” Translated literally this means, “Asking how you going to Port-au-Prince? In the back of a tiny run-down, smoke-beltching Toyota pickup sitting on a hard wooden board secured over the wheel wells with a raised camper shell over your head while crammed in with 11 other Haitians and three more hanging off the back?” She said, “Wi.”

Betanide and Family

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