solèy kouche

The other day, as we were walking through a rural area of Leogane to begin our fieldwork, we heard music and singing coming from across the river next to us. We crossed one of the makeshift wood bridges until we entered an outdoor courtyard where we had just conducted a survey a few days before. Our translator, Nini, told us that the singing was coming from a small church located in the courtyard, which was holding Wednesday morning services. The building opened up at the back of the pews, so we went in and joined the festivities, dancing and waving our arms around for almost 30 minutes. It was so much fun! I joked that if church services were like that at home, I’d be there every Sunday. After the song was over, our translator went to the front of the church to introduce our group and encourage everyone to say hello to us when they see us around town. The situation became slightly awkward when she asked the four of us if we are Christian, and three of us said that we are not, and she asked us if we want to accept Jesus into our lives right then and there. After politely declining, we thanked the congregation for allowing us to come to their services, and we left to continue our fieldwork.

Every day, I’m loving our research more and more. It’s hard not to become emotionally attached to some of our research subjects. They reveal so much about themselves, about their lives and their emotions. Often they open their homes up to us, and allow us to spend time with their family and friends. Sometimes I find myself being reluctant to finish our surveys. Yesterday, it started pouring while we were in the middle of an interview with two young men outside one of their homes. We all rushed inside the house to escape the downpour, and completed our interview while listening to the rain beat down on the tin roof. When we finished, it was still pouring, so we sat and talked to the two men for around 20 minutes. It was like a scene out of a movie – the seven of us huddled in a one room home surrounded by tropical mango trees, sitting on plastic chairs with Martha holding a small boy on her lap, answering questions about our lives and our work and whether or not we are married.

photo-14This country is becoming more enjoyable as I become more familiar with the language. I’m getting better at writing down the responses to the survey before Nini even translates them. And yesterday, I went on a Haitian radio show! I left the house in the morning with Ric and we went over to a small building in the middle of the town, where a man we had met before hosts a radio show from 8am to 9am every morning. I had already prepared my translation for “If I Were a Boy” by Beyonce, so after introducing myself using the microphone, we then played the song and I translated each line! I did half of it in Creole and half in French. After we finished the song, Kenyo (the host of the show) asked me a few questions in French about the song and about Beyonce, and we had about a 20 minute conversation in both French and in Creole! It was great to able to talk about how much I love Beyonce to an audience of potentially a few hundred people. I’ll include the translated lyrics down below!

1010733_10200256623762290_1881149956_nEvery day, I am more and more in awe of this country and its people. I really try to make en effort to get to know all the individuals we meet, whether they are visitors of the guest house, friends of our staff, or even the mechanic who comes to fix the generator every once in a while. Last night we went on a walk along a dirt path towards the mountains – which may not have been the best idea because it started to get dark and we didn’t have flashlights – but we were coming back right as the sun was setting. Seeing the blues and yellows, the oranges and reds of the sunset extending above the mountains and the sugar cane fields, reflecting off the puddles from the rain scattered along the mud path, was absolutely breathtaking. Wow, I thought, this really is Haiti.

Things are changing here at the guest house. Every day we are reminded that being here is a challenge, and today was yet another reminder of that. I’ll update when I have more information.

Here’s the link to some photos that were taken by the Duke Global Health Institute communications representative who came to visit last week:

“Si m’ te yon gason” by Beyonce

Si m’ te yon gason, menm jis pou yon jou
Mwen ta woule soti nan kabann nan maten an
M’ tap abiye jan m’ vle
M’ tap ale bwè byè ak neg yo
M’ tap ale chèche fi
M’ tap pose ak moun mwen vle
M’ pa tap janm gen pwoblem ak moun
Paske tout moun ap goumen pou mwen

Si m’ te yon gason, mwen panse m tap konprann
Ki jan li santi l pou renmen yon fi
Mwen fè sèman mwen tap yon pi bon gason

Mwen ta koute li, paske mwen konnen ki jan li fè m mal
Lè ou péri yon moun ke w renmen
Paske li rend li ingratitid
Epi detwi tout sa ou te genyen

Si j’étais un garçon, j’éteindrais mon portable
Dit à tout le monde qu’il s’est cassé
Donc ils penseraient que j’étais en train de dormir seul

Je me mettrais en premier, et ferais les règles à ma guise
Parce que je sais qu’elle serait fidèle
D’attend mon retour à la maison, de retour à la maison

Si j’étais un garçon, je pense que je pourrais comprendre
Comment il se sent d’aimer une fille
Je jure que je serais un meilleur homme

Je lui écouterais, parce que je sais comment il fait mal
Quand on perd quelqu’un qu’on aime
Parce qu’il te rend l’ingratitude
Et tout ce qu’on avait, a été détruit

C’est un peu trop tard pour que tu reviennes
Disons que c’est juste une erreur
Pense que je te pardonne comme ça
Si tu pensais que j’allais t’attendre
Tu pensais mal

Men, ou se jis yon gason
Ou pa konprann
Ki jan li santi l renmen ton fi
Yon jou ou ta renmen ou te yon neg pi bon

Ou pa koute li
Ou pa sousye de li kijan l’ap sufri
Jiskaske ou pédi yon moun ke ou renmen
Paske ou rend li ingratitid
Epi detwi tout sa ou te genyen
Men ou se jis yon gason

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One Response to solèy kouche

  1. Grace says:

    I will have to check out that Beyonce song!

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