Haiti is suffering from the massive Jan 12 earthquake and needs our help. Below I've posted some first-hand accounts of the quake from people in Haiti. Please consider a donation to an organization in Haiti. If you would like to give directly to a Haitian family, please contact me (anna.versluis@gmail.com).

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Vocabulary Words

On Saturday, after Ben had been in the country less than 12 hours, we drove the 2-plus hours to Fond Verrettes, met up with Fleurimond and then hiked just about straight up for 3 kilometers until we reached the settlement of Karobyo on a mountain overlooking Fond Verrettes. I had one—and only one—interview to do here. Ben walked around taking pictures while I did the interview. One guy who lived there and was sewing up his plastic sandal wanted to talk to Ben.
Ben's Kreyol is growing but still limited to things like good morning, good afternoon, how are you, I'm fine, thank you, can I speak with Anna please, and the food is good. I suggested they try talking in English. Except that the other guy's English was even more limited: he could say good morning, good afternoon, and yesterday. Yesterday??? Sometimes it's strange the vocabulary we learn. I once met a man from Argentina who only knew a few English phrases but one of them was "yellow cake." I never figured that one out. In high school, my French class used the Capretz method, which pretty much was based on the premise that people learn French in order to pick up girls while on spring break in Paris. I remember spending entire class periods perfecting a Parisien accent and disinterested demeanor for "Can I have a light?". I felt so proud of my nearly flawless execution of the phrase that I wondered if I'd have to take up smoking.


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