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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Kite Mimi Anrepo


9/14/11
So there is a cat that I really wanted to get.  He belongs to the director *Hagar's boyfriend.  He is the smaller of the two.  I named them **Mimi and Minou, because they didn't have any names.  I was supposed to be getting Mimi to come live with me at the other house.  We had to ease him into it, because otherwise he would run away.  Well Ms. B (one of the volunteers)  comes in and announces that she wants one of the cats, and she wants to give him another name.  Um wtf, I just told you what I call him!  Then today (9/15/11) she announces that she has named him Kyle, um I’m sorry I am not going to call him Kyle, especially not when I’ve been calling him Mimi for the past month and not when you've come in and laid claim to him as if he were rightfully yours.  I don’t really care for her.  She seems to have this weird helpless thing going on, and looks like she doesn't really wanna do much.  She even had the nerve to ask to borrow my shoes.  I felt like I couldn't say no, but I do not wear things with people.  I don’t like it, and there is nothing of yours that I want .  

*not her real name
**mimi is Kreyol for cat

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

M Resi Eseye Manje Oma

I am a huge foodie.  I love nothing more than finding new restaurants to dine at.  I also love Haitian food, so I knew that my stomach would be well taken care of whilst in Haiti.  I don't eat shellfish, but I figured when in Rome!



The verdict is in, I now know for sure, that I do not like lobster.  The flavor was tasty but I really didn't like the texture or the 'fishy taste'.  However, I am glad that I tried it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Se Chill Nap Chill



The beach is a great chill spot especially on the weekend! I want to learn how to ride a moto!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

M Te Bezwen On Ti Break

8/28/11
A much needed break from my daily routine.

 
Jacmel's countryside

Why yes I am sitting precariously on a bench on the bed of a truck

Trip to the beach

Wicker chairs & beach umbrella living



Friday, December 9, 2011

Ki Sa Map Fe La


8/26/11 10:00am

Yesterday afternoon I was feeling very uninspired.  I realized that I am not someone who takes much initiative or who is innovative, at least not in a new role I’m not.  I don’t think I could be someone who runs a business.  I do better knowing what exactly I’m supposed to be doing, on a daily basis.  I don’t have a set schedule, and I’m kind of just around everyday unless there is something specific that I am doing with the girls or unless I’m in the maternity center.  This has led to me feeling like I’m not doing anything here and feeling useless/uninspired.  School is also not scheduled to start until October.  Um, what are these girls going to do for a month?  Up until yesterday, they were responsible for cooking the three daily meals.  Now that the cook is back, they won’t be doing that.  So I guess it’ll be a long month.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dezod

8/27/11 3:30pm

We had soccer practice today, the girls were misbehaving and practice was cut short.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bagay Male


9/05/11 09:30 am

Feeling kind of pissy right now.  There hasn't been any running water for almost a week now.  The director is aware of this.  I’m not sure when the water in coming, but I’ve had to fill a couple of buckets to shower and flush the toilet.  Not happy about this at all.  This is not what I planned on doing in Haiti.  At least when I’m at my mother’s I get treated water to bathe with, and I am not walking up a flight of precarious cement stairs in order to have water.  I don’t know if there is anything wrong with bathing with rain water, but I have been feeling itchy lately.  Basically this is some bs and it needs to be rectified.

Bagay Sa Sonn Piyay


8/25/11 1:20am

Holy crap this is a lot of rain and I left my laptop open only to find it covered in raindrops.  Why won’t Haiti let me be great lol.  I think I might change rooms.  My original room gets great wind, but that also means it gets A LOT of rain.  I woke up to a very damp bad, and last I checked, I don’t pee in the bed.  I’m gonna ask about putting plastic tarp over the windows or something.  
There are also these animals that make quack like sounds, um wtf let me sleep.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

M Rive Ayiti




8/22/11
10:02pm I am settled into the organization and laying in bed as I write this.  Whenever I come to Haiti, it is never a dull experience.  Baggage claim was so chaotic and it seemed as if I would never get my bags.  When I got outside and found the driver from the organization, I felt relief all at once, because that was a concern for me.  However that relief was short lived.  We got into a minor fender bender that escalated into a huge argument, because the other driver was extremely upset and cursing the organization’s driver.  When the organization’s driver tried to reason with him, it was met with more cursing and the most profanity laced creole that I have ever heard.  The other driver also stood in front of the truck to prevent us from leaving.  This went on for at least 20-25mins in the blazing mid day sun in the very busy airport parking lot.
I never really have expectations of the unknown.  The house is sparsely furnished and very clean.  I will be bunking with another woman, but our room is right off of a patio/balcony so that’s pleasant.  The first order of business in the morning, is to purchase a cell phone.  I’m very glad I left my chocolate at home; it would have melted even before leaving the airport.
We did English lessons today very short, and impromptu.  The girls were all giggling except for one who took it seriously and practiced along with the track.  I want to get some sort of schedule figured out but I don’t want to overdo it and be militant about starting a new way of doing things.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Map Al Ayiti






08/22/11 10:48am 
En route to Haiti. I’m really excited and can’t wait to begin.  I just hope that the way the program is being run is relatively smooth and professional.  The director seems like a really nice person who I should be able to get along with.  I hope that the girls and the house staff are accepting of me and it is an easy transition.  I am currently wearing cut off shorts and a long tunic, the idea of it was great, but now I am beginning to question my choice.  My outfit is not professional at all, and I hope it doesn't make a bad 1st impression.  I’m also wary about the long ride that lays ahead, because I’ve been sitting on my bum for the past 6hrs and now I’ll be sitting for a couple more hours.  No bueno, I feel like chop suey. (Edited: I don't even know what that means lol)
I feel as if the stars are all aligning in my life.  Professionally that is.  I am very much interested in entering the nurse midwifery field, and I am sure that my experience with the organization will allow me to learn and grow both professionally and personally.  I’m a little concerned about what my schedule will look like.  Although the majority of my time will be spent working at the organization, I do plan on spending time with my family and socializing with my peers.  However I know that I can be a bit of a worrywart so I am going to try very hard to go with the flow.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

M Boston

Hi all,
Thank you so much for your patience and for sticking with me during my extended absence.  Quick updates: I am back in Boston indefinitely and I will be loading several posts in the upcoming week.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Padon

Hi all,
I would like to apologize for my absence.  I had a death in my family, and I have been away preparing for the funeral.  I also did not have internet access, so I was unable to keep you all abreast of what was going on.  Thank you for still sticking around.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Yo manke pou pou sou tet bebe a!


9/23/11

Just witnessed my second Haitian birth.  It was awesome as well.  I felt like crying, lol which would have been weird.  This whole labor thing is kind of long and tedious though.  It is hard to stay interested.  I think it’s because I’m not actually doing anything.  I also witnessed my first bowel movement during labor as well, I’m not as disgusted as I thought I would be.  It just reminded me of when other mammals are in labor, and how it’s just a natural reaction to the pushing that their body does.  The mom J was laboring on her hands and knees, and when she was fully dilated, she was grunting and moaning, and crying out for Jesus.  Throughout her labor, she was dripping amniotic fluid and while pushing she started to poop.  The baby’s head was crowning and her head was facing up towards the mom’s butt, and I was so worried that the baby’s face would be pooped on.  I don’t think she was.  When she birthed the placenta, it kind of reminded me of liver.  I love liver, but I don’t think I want to eat it anytime soon.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pa fwa mwen santi 'm aneve

Sometimes I find myself being Haiti's defender, particularly when in contact with Whites.  Regardless of how long they've been in the country, I still feel like I'm more of an insider than they are especially in regards to relating with the people.  I think it's because I'm Haitian by blood and birth.  That connects me to the land and the people more than a little blue booklet.   I know that we as people tend to prejudge and make a lot of generalizations, but for some reason that bothers me when those generalizations and prejudices are about Haitian culture, and her people.  It is especially difficult when these generalizations or stereotypes are coming from people who are currently living and working in Haiti.  It's weird being in my shoes, because although I'm very American in Haiti; I identify with Haitians when interacting with Whites.  Until I open my mouth they've already lumped me in with Haitians anyways; so why should I try to identify with them?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Padon

Hi all sorry for my absence, we've been having internet issues, aka we didn't have any connection.  I also haven't been making time for my scheduled posts.  I'm going to work on that, but no promises.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Akouchman

Yay, so I witnessed my first Haitian birth two weeks ago.  It was awesome and a little unexpected.  The mom to be has been seen at the maternity center before, and she actually had an appointment with us the previous week.  She was about 36 weeks I believe (a pregnancy can last up to 40wks give or take a couple of days).  I've never seen a natural birth before, and although I was present for my friend's birth she was sedated (epidural) so it wasn't the same experience.  Needless to say, births in Creole are very interesting.  The woman was singing and praying throughout her labor, if you have ever heard a Haitian prayer, then you know that we are very melodramatic people.  Apparently this is very common amongst Haitians.  I noticed several differences between an American hospital birth and the OTP maternity center.  As is typical in midwifery, the midwife (wives) is generally hands off as long as the labor is progressing well and the mother is ok; very rarely are interventions(forceps, epidural, pitocin) used and when the mother was fully dilated (cervix is open enough for the baby to pass through) she squatted and pushed the baby out as opposed to pushing on the bed.  Seeing the baby's head come out was my favorite part.  There's something so awesome, beautiful, primal and powerful about birth, but especially natural birth.  That's why I want to be a midwife, because it encourages and supports education, self awareness, and self confidence in women by women.  M son fanm tande m rele!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mwen renmen benyen nan lanme

A couple of folks from the org and I went to the beach about two weeks ago.  Good times, enjoy the pics. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

M Nan Wout 8/21/11


Check out the long lost video that I made when I was on my way to Haiti.  This was filmed at  either Kennedy or Laguardia; while I was waiting to board my flight.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Vinn Manje Vandredi

Hi all,
I don't have a personal recipe for Vinn Manje Vandredi today.  Instead, I am posting a link to a blog that I've just stumbled upon.  It has really great recipes, and the accompanying stories are really good too.  Check out Cooking With Madame Sara.  This recipe is for Mayi ak Fey (Cornmeal and spinach).  I love mayi ak fey, especially with mori (pollock in sauce).  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Music Tuesdays


Hi all,
Today is Music Tuesday.  I will discuss a Haitian artist, band or genre, that I am really into and want to share.  You can all suggest music as well.  I always enjoy 'discovering' a new to me artist or song.  I will attempt to cover all genres.  

Today, I want to highlight a genre of Haitian music, souk.  Zouk, like Kompa is a relatively popular genre of music in Haiti.  Zouk is also very popular in Francophone Africa, and the Francophone West Indies, France and in the Cape Verde, known as Cabo Zouk.   Click on the song title, and you will be taken to the video on Youtube.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Foto De Semenn Nan

Yes, in Haiti cars park on the sidewalk & pedestrians walk in the sttreet

Ben Remon

Went to the beach with the OTP folks today (kiddies included).  I love the beach, well I love nature in general.  It's so unpredictable, beautiful, serene and powerful.  Check out some images from Bain Raymond (Raymond Beach).  PS, I feel so 60s house wife in my bathing suit.  "But Ricky!"

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Fritay!


Nothing like fried food to end a long day!  My plate of fried fish, plantains and dumplings was good but way too much.  I ended up sharing most of it with my grandma.  I love fruity, especially fish or turkey fruity.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Vinn Manje Vandredi

Hi all, as is tradition; today is Vinn Manje Vandredi.  I will highlight a haitian dish/meal, along with general directions and pictures on how to make the dish.  I hope you enjoy.  Please feel free to share any of your favorite recipes as well.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mizik Madi

Hi all,
Today is Music Tuesday.  I will discuss a Haitian artist or band, that I am really into and want to share.  You can all suggest music as well.  I always enjoy 'discovering' a new to me artist or song.  I will attempt to cover all genres.  

Today, I want to highlight a really great yet underrated singer, Jean Bernard Thomas.  He has a very soulful voice, and his songs and style is unlike many other Haitian artists.  His debut cd is called Ayiti Thomas.  There are two really hot songs that I have been enjoying since hearing the cd.  Click on the song title, and you will be taken to the video on Youtube.

Foto De Semen Nan


I love this tree/bush the picture does not do the flowers justice.  They are such a beautifully vibrant color.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

M Bon Kounye A

After my crappy mood last night, I was in dire need of some relaxation, and some alcohol but hey beggars can't be choosers right?  I am off on Sundays, so last night I went to my mom's and spent the night there.  I wanted to go to the beach, and we had plans to go see some of my relatives, on both sides of my family.  They live wwwwaaaayyyy up in the mountains.  We take a moto (moped, most common form of transportation other than one's feet) and then walk up the mountain :/.  We have to cross a river to climb up the mountain.  The river has risen a couple of times, and the current was so strong.  I am not built for a difficult life at all.  As soon as I stepped in the water I felt the rocks pricking and poking my feet.  I also knew that a long walk up the mountains awaited me.  It is a very rocky and steep mountain.  We (mom & I) had to stop and take our breaths every now and then.  This was all at 8am on a Sunday morning.

Pa Touye m

I've entrusted my life to a kid 0_o


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Yo Pran Kay La Pou Yo

10:28am Friday Morning


I am so ridiculously sleepy.  I don't know if it is my vitamin D or what.  Yesterday I did English lessons, they were more formal and structured.  However all three girls are at different levels.  I am going to have to structure the lessons accordingly.  After the lesson, I addressed some of the areas of concern.  I could tell that they were not happy about these new rules, but oh well.  They have had the run of the house for so long, they need to realize that nothing is owed to them, and they can be asked to leave at anytime.  We have also began to change the way we grocery shop.  No longer will the three of them be getting money to buy whatever they like.  Instead, I will accompany them and pay the vendors.  When the girls did the shopping, there never seemed to be any change left over, and there was not much to show for the things that they did buy.  To add on to the food issue, although I asked my mom not to send food for me, I had to ask for some last night for breakfast, because spaghetti and salami was on the menu.  I DO NOT eat pork.  That is a non negotiable.  I don't eat shellfish much either, but I don't mind picking out shrimp if I have to.  Pork is a no no. So my mom sent my sis over with some spaghetti and herring.  Muy delicioso, the only missing was bread and avocado.

M Pa Konn Sa Map Fe La

I had a horrible afternoon/evening on Friday.  It started out fine, I was relaxing and enjoying a beer while watching a local soccer match.  After having a convo about Haiti, Haitians and the state of the country with the director of the org, I just felt so depressed.  I just felt helpless and silly for coming all the way to Haiti.  At the time my decision to commit my time and energy to this project for a couple months just seemed so pointless.  There are so many things that I feel are wrong with Haiti.  Everyone and their uncle has an opinion about what needs to be done for things to change.  The many contradictions that are part of Haitian life frustrate me at times.  The standard of living infuriates me.  The fact that Haiti is a country with a lot of potential, rumored to be mineral and oil rich and clearly a money maker for "benevolent" American corporations/politicians and NGO's doesn't make things any better.  Simply put Haiti is being fucked by everyone left and right and not only are they not using a condom but they are even throwing a  couple of crumpled dollars to her when they're done.  It's a bit early to feel this way in my opinion but it was bound to happen right?

I could of used a nice chilled bottle of wine, cheese and grapes last night along with a good cry and a hot bath.  Of course I didn't get any of the above, but I got to complain and whine to some friends so that was a bit therapeutic.

Friday, August 26, 2011

M Pa Konn Sa Pou'm Fe


I have a slight issue, and I’m sure I know how to address/fix it, but I don’t know if I want to.  The three teens that live here, are responsible for cooking and cleaning during school vacation.  However on the first day (Monday), my mom made me some food, because she knew I would be hungry after my flight/trip; and that’s generally what moms do (or at least mine :).  So, technically I have only eaten one meal.  Yesterday (Tuesday) I brought my mom and sister over to see the house, and the organization & maternity center.  On her way out my mom asks what should she make for me.  I know I should be eating what everyone else is eating, but I LOVE my mom’s cooking, and since we do not get to see each other often, she spoils me with love aka food every chance she gets.  I don’t want anyone to get offended but I’m still unsure what I should do.  

High: Baking a birthday cake
Low: Rain

Vinn Manje Vandredi

Hi all,
Per usual, Fridays is Come Eat Fridays.  I will share a Haitian dish and the general recipe and process to cook it.  Today's dish is Salad Kenskof.  It is a very simple yet filling meal.  Quick and easy peasy.

You will need potatoes, carrots, onions, crescents, cabbage, condensed milk, butter, salt, garlic, black pepper, 1/3 vinegar, mayonnaise, red peppers, scotch bonnet peppers

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Foto De Semen Nan

I can't seem to leave my American side behind; rain boots and a rain suit

Map Renmen Mekredi

Wednesdays are Prenatals.  That is the scheduled day for expectant moms to come for check ups.  I got to sit in on two.  More were expected, but because the weather is crappy, only three women came.  I learned how to feel for the baby’s head, bottom and feet.  I also learned that contrary to popular belief, pregnant women do need salt.  If you think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense.  Salt is in iv’s, gatorade/powerade and it is also what we lose in our sweat.  We also talked about preeclampsia.  The signs of preeclampsia are swollen hands and feet, protein in the urine and high blood pressure.  This can be alleviated by eating foods high in protein; peanuts (all nuts), meat, coconuts, liver, eggs and beans.  Today was very exciting.  I have a feeling Wednesdays will be my favorite.
High: Being present for prenatals
Low: No phone 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

M Fatige a Lapli Sa!


This rain is super annoying!

Banm Ba w Blag!

Do I have a funny story for you!  The house/apartment that I live in has a gate that we use a padlock with.  I left the organization main house/director’s house to bring my computer back along with getting my rain boots and rain suit, as we were going to the town center to buy cake mix.  When I got to the house I realized that the gate was locked, and I definitely did not have the keys with me.  I assumed that I had left it in my room.  Keep in mind that it is pouring rain.  Although the main house is less than 5mins away, I did not want to walk back.  I  watched to make sure no one was around and I had to jump the gate.  If you were around you would have had the longest fit of laughter known to womankind.  I am 5’3, I don’t even know how I was able to lift my legs that high.  Also on both sides of the gate, there is broken glass, to deter would be burglars.  The hardest part of this process is getting back on the ground.  Once I got inside and changed into my rain suit and boots, I realized that I didn't have the keys.  Um, yeah it is extremely difficult to climb an iron wrought gate with plastic rain boots on.  Note to self, keep keys on your person at all times.

Offending Gate:



Kijan Pou'm Abiye? Update

Yea, remember when I wrote the post about being unsure how to dress?  Well ladies and gentlemen, life has a way of working these problems out for you.  I will be dressed like I do normally in the US (shorts, and summer dresses).  The only time that I will wear my "work" clothes, are when I have to go somewhere "important" or if I have an appointment.  This is what I wore today.


No real work today, aside from chatting with the two main girls who will be staying here longterm about what my role will be and can be, and setting down some rules.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sa'w Panse


10:02pm 
I am settled into the organization and laying in bed as I write this.  Whenever I come to Haiti, it is never a dull experience.  Baggage claim was so chaotic and it seemed as if I would never get my bags.  When I got outside and found the driver from the organization, I felt relief all at once, because that was a concern for me.  However that relief was short lived.  We got into a minor fender bender that escalated into a huge argument, because the other driver was extremely upset and cursing the organization’s driver.  When the organization’s driver tried to reason with him, it was met with more cursing and the most profanity laced language that I have ever heard from a Haitian’s mouth.  The other driver also stood in front of the truck to prevent us from leaving.  This went on for at least 20-25mins in the blazing mid day sun in the very busy airport parking lot.

M Rive

Hi all,
Quick post to let you know that I made it in safe and sound!  Post coming soon.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Map Vini

Hi all,
My apologies for not posting anything for Vinn Manje Vandredi.  I've been doing last minute shopping and packing.  I've also been trying to hang out with as many friends as possible before leaving.  I'm DEAD TIRED!!! I'm also super psyched hence my countdown.  I will probably do two vlogs to make up for my absence.  Thank you all so much for your support!

16 hrs!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Going Away Mixer

Hi all,
Hope you are all doing well.  I am so anxious, excited and jittery about my pending trip.  5 more days, can you believe it?  So nervous.  As you may know, I had my going away mixer last week.  It was a fun and laid back environment of friends, food and drinks.  I laughed until my belly ached, ate until I couldn't eat anymore and drank until I saw stars responsibly.  I am still working on my presentation, so hold on tight.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In Preparation For My Trip


I went to BJ's and stocked up on all of my favorites snacks, candy and cookies to tide me over while I'm gone.  Yes, I am a fat girl at heart and nothing makes me feel more American than stuffing my face with sodium and high fructose filled snacks that will eventually kill me.

5 days!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mizik Madi

Hi all,
In keeping with tradition.  Today is Music Tuesdays, where I will highlight a Haitian artist, band or song.  I will attempt to cover all genres.  Feel free to suggest any songs or artist that you would like to learn more about.  I love discovering new to me music.

6 Days!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Map Vini

Hi all,
My apologies for not posting on Friday.  I was beat from the mixer the night before.  I will have several posts for you, and some vlogs this Sunday.  Hope you're having a great weekend!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Vinn Manje Vandredi

Hi again,
In keeping with specific topics on particular days, I am designating Fridays as Come Eat Fridays!  Yummy yummy.  I love to eat!  It is amongst my top three favorite activities.  I particularly love Haitian food. On Fridays, I will share a Haitian dish with you, accompanied by pictures, and general directions on how to make said dish, and I will also post a link to a wonderful site that has a plethora of in depth recipes. 

Today I want to share with you, the deliciousness that is fried plantain and chicken.  Some might ask what is decidedly Haitian about this dish.  My response is always: "It is a Haitian dish because of the seasonings, and how it is prepared."  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Come Join Me Tonight!!

Hi all,
I'm having my going away mixer tonight!!  Woohoo!  The 22nd is getting closer and closer.  If I haven't already, I am inviting you to come out to mingle with me and those near and dear to me.  This will also be a great chance to meet some fellow Bostonians, who are passionate about social justice, women, education and or Haiti.

The mixer is being held at 
150 Kneeland St.  Boston (downtown area).  
(617) 426-6397
6-9pm

I'd love to see all of you; yes even you who lurks and never comments.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mizik Madi

Hi all,
Today is Music Tuesday.  I will discuss a Haitian artist or band, that I am really into and want to share.  You can all suggest music as well.  I always enjoy 'discovering' a new to me artist or song.  I will attempt to cover all genres.  Today, I want to highlight one of my favorite Haitian bands; Carimi.  Kompa is my most favorite genre of Haitian music.  It can either be a ballad, with soft soothing melodies of love lost, desire, longing or even the dissolution of a relationship.  There are also the fast paced songs that cover these topics as well.  I love both the fast and slow songs.  Carimi was one of the first Kompa bands that I really fell in love with.  Their songs also improved my Kreyol vocabulary.  Can you imagine a teenaged version of me with bad Kreyol?  Yes, I know it's difficult to imagine, but try harder.  Carimi is the abbreviation of the first two letters of the three main singers names, Carlo, Richard and Michael.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Gason Ayisyen

If I had $100 dollars for every time a Haitian woman complained to me about how she hates Haitian men and refuses to date them, I would be pretty well off.  The word around town is that Haitian men are inconsiderate, unfaithful, ungrateful, expect to be treated like a king when they are really paupers, and the list goes on.  I have heard so many stories about how horrible Haitian men are, that I'm surprised I still date them (I jest).  It never made sense to me though, why all Haitian men were lumped together to be held accountable for the actions of their fellow countrymen.  I don't like to generalize too much, and when I do, it's done half jokingly, because I have not encountered everyone in that group in order for the generalization to hold water.  I think that all men act (insert list of grievances), to their respective partners; regardless of their ethnicity.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Vinn Manje Vandredi

Hi again,
In keeping with specific topics on particular days, I am designating Fridays as Come Eat Fridays!  Yummy yummy.  I love to eat!  It is amongst my top three favorite activities.  I particularly love Haitian food.

On Fridays, I will share a Haitian dish with you, accompanied by pictures, and general directions on how to make said dish, and I will also post a link to a wonderful site that has a plethora of in depth recipes.  A lot of people, Haitian Americans included think that all Haitians eat is rice accompanied by a meat dish.  That is a fallacy fair friends.  I think many people, particularly busy professionals who are managing a household and a full time job maybe two, get stuck in a rut.  Therefore they stick to the tried and true, rice and beans.  There are so many delicious root vegetables, grains, and animals in Haiti, that there is no reason to eat the same predictable boring meal.  So I invite you to vinn manje ave m (come eat with me)!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mizik Madi

I'd like to start posting about specific topics on specific days.  So I'll start today off as Music Tuesdays.  I'm going to highlight a Haitian band or song that I'm really into and want to share.  You all can suggest music as well.  I always enjoy 'discovering' a new to me artist or song.  I will attempt to cover all genres.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pwoveb

"Kay koule twonpe soley men li pa twonpe lapli"
 - A leaky house may fool the sun, but it doesn't fool the rain

Kijan Pou'm Abiye?

Hi, I hope you all are doing well.
Throughout my time planning for my trip to Haiti, one issue that has consistently come up for me, is my wardrobe.  I have no idea what kinds of clothes to bring for when I'm on the clock.  I've primarily worked in daycare, after school and office settings.  Although my last job was an extremely casual environment, I dressed pretty business casual.  I was always the most dressed up.  That is just my thing, I mean I have a fashion blog for goodness sake.  Maybe it's also a Haitian (or immigrant) thing, because Haitians are always notoriously overdressed.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ou Gele Pat Konnen

Hope you all had a great weekend.  I just wanted to share some info about myself, that you may not have gleaned from reading the blog.  Hold on tight, you might be in for some surprises.

1. I've been detained at Haitian customs :/
2. My favorite part of traveling is the anticipation before takeoff
3. I was kidnapped as a child
4. I am not full if I don't have rice with my meal
5. I secretly hate Malta (malt drink preferred by many in the Caribbean, and her diaspora)
6. I prefer mai moulen (polenta/cornmeal) to rice
7. I love all Haitian music except for Rap Kreyol and Ragga

Have I shocked anyone, or is all of this believable?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Men Mwen

Hi all,
This is my first official vlog!  I just wanted to take some time out to express my appreciation to you all for continually tuning in.  Let me know if there is anything in particular you would like to see on the blog, or if there are any specific vlogs you would like me to do.



*Must work on editing videos :/

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ayiti P'am

Hi everyone!
While brainstorming post topics, I realized there was nothing pressing that I wanted to address. So if you don't mind, I put together some pictures from my numerous trips to Haiti. These pics are a glimpse into the Haiti that I know and love. Hope you enjoy. I love your comments, so let me know what you think or if you have any memories of Ayiti cherie.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ke'm Kontan

Hi all,
I hope you guys had a wonderful weekend. I was sitting in my room last night, and this stillness and sense of peace came over me. Not only am I excited about my impending trip to Haiti, but it feels like something I am doing and claiming as opposed to something that has happened to me by chance. I'm a big fan of analogies, so here goes one. I see this situation like I'm a sailor and the current has been a little rough and has beat up my boat a bit, along with getting off course. After a bit of fighting with the helm (steering wheel), I've gotten back on course and the sun shines down so well that I can see my destination directly in front of me.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Eske atizana ayisyen se atizana vre?

Ever since I was a little girl, I've loved the arts. I love music, paintings, poems and the theater. However, I've grown to realize that not everyone's art is represented, and not all art is considered art. In the case of Haiti, I've seen people describe her art as "primitive" or "naive" which to me implies that Haitian art is fixed/stagnant and that there will not be any growth or movements to inspire a new wave of painting or the ingenuity to work with different mediums.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

*Updated---> Pale Franse pa di lespri pou sa

I'm part of several social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. On Facebook, I'm a member of a Haitian Facebook group. A couple days ago, I suggested that if people are posting documents in French or Kreyol, that they should also provide an English translation or a link for people to translate it themselves. I surprisingly received mixed reactions. Below are screenshots of the convo. That post is what brought today's topic to mind.

 French was the primary and only official language in Haiti for a very long time. However there was a movement to recognize Kreyol as an official language as well, partly because the majority of the population does not read, speak or write French. Kreyol was legally recognized as an official language in 1987. French is the language of instruction in Haitian schools however I think there is often a disconnect because most students are not using the language in their home lives.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pwoveb

Pye pa gen rasinn, tout moun ka tonbe - Feet have no roots, everyone can fall

This proverb makes me think of Haiti and all that has been happening. "Natural disasters" in other lands also come to mind, although they most likely are not natural, but man made. To me this proverb means that no one is exempt from suffering. I think it is often too easy to feel secure in our privileges where we are separated from the ugliness of third world or developing countries (which ever one you're more comfortable with). We're only exposed to it when we turn our tv's to CNN, MSNBC or Fox (insert look of horror).

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bagay Sa Difisil

Hi all,
This post is aptly titled, Bagay Sa Difisil (This stuff is hard). I am in the process of writing appeal letters in hopes of getting family members, friends, and associates to donate money to cover daily expenses while I am in Haiti. One may think that Haiti is a relatively inexpensive country because it is "poor", however the cost of transportation, food, and technology (I'm going to have to be able to communicate with people somehow) quickly adds up, no matter which country you are in. This process has been an eye opener. I am not comfortable asking people for favors, so you can imagine how difficult it is to ask for money. If push comes to shove, I'll donate blood or an ovary (just kidding).

Men Anpil Chay Pa Lou (A lot of Hands Make the Load Light)- Haitian Proverb

Pic taken from Google

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Creole Cooking

Diri A Pwa Kongo e Pwason Ros Fri

Welcome, welcome,
I love, adore and delight in the goodness that is Haitian food.  You may ask what constitutes as Haitian food and how is it any different from other Caribbean foods like our neighbor the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, or Jamaica.  I will admit that we eat almost the same staple dishes (rice, root vegetables, lots and lots of meat and fresh being that we are islands) and they are seasoned almost the same way (Adobo, bouillon cubes, scallions, garlic, scotch bonnet peppers).  However, just like your Mom, Grandma Agnes, and Aunt Chrissy make their turkey differently using almost identical ingredients, that is what separates Caribbean food.

*Pou Ki Sa Wap Al Ayiti?

*All of My blog post titles will be in Creole (Google Translate has Haitian Creole)

Although many have been supportive about my decision to go to Haiti for 5 months, everyone I spoke to had questions.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Ayiti Cherie

Hi,
Thanks for stopping by.  So as of Aug 22nd I am going to be living in Jacmel, Haiti.  I will be volunteering with an organization that provides prenatal and maternal healthcare to women and children in Jacmel.  They host prenatal health classes for people in the community.  



Thursday, July 14, 2011

Byenveni

I’m going to Haiti y’all!!  I’m excited beyond belief.  This has been a dream of mine for several years now if not longer.  If you followed this link from MaiMusings, this is not another style blog; rather this blog is going to chronicle my trip to Haiti, my experiences as a volunteer and any and all things Haiti related.  Stay tuned!