Friday, January 05, 2007

a haitian in charlotte

We have a new resident in our home, Jacques, who is from Haiti and will be attending college in Charlotte. Since he arrived approximately one week before Christmas, the following are some of his observations about life in the U.S.:

People bring a continuous supply of cookies and candy to your home.
There is a football bowl game on television every evening.
People spend most of their time doing three things: eating, watching television, and playing with computers.

We also spend alot of time talking on cell phones, but I think they do that in Haiti as well.

Along the way we are learning some creole: dejene is breakfast, mange midi is eating lunch, mange a te bon is the food is good, grangou is hungry, swaf is thirsty, soupe is dinner...

You get an idea about what we spend most of our time conversing about.

I am amazed at Jack's facility with the language. He speaks french and creole fluently, and also very good english, and a lot of spanish (due to Haiti's proximity to the Dominican Republic).

He is also picking up on some uniquely American icons and idioms, such as the Geico lizard, presidential funerals that last several days, and The Office. He loves jazz music, and I was pleasantly surprised that he was very familiar with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. All of this inspired me to pick up Andrew Hill's Timelines (Blue Note), which was on a couple of New York Times top ten lists.

Jacques is a longtime staff member (interpreter) in the Providence Haiti Mission Clinic in Cap Haitien, so we knew each other prior to his arrival. He begins his studies on Monday. We are happy (kontan) that he is here.


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