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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

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

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


"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.