West Tennessee Haiti Partnership

Lunch in Haiti

Our guesthouse provides sack lunches for us, but on the first day we realized it consisted of PBJ sandwiches, chips, an apple and a bottle of water. So we decided to skip the sack lunch and eat from our stash of granola bars instead. When you work in 90 deg temperatures all day, you dont have much appetite anyway. Not to mention the fact that after I see several kids with stomachache because they have not eaten all day, I dont feel the need to eat myself. But some of us have gone to a restaurant close to the school, where the piclise is tasty and they have cold drinks. Piclise is a Haitian dish, somewhat like cole slaw, but very spicy with vinegar and peppers. It is delicious, and apparently takes hours to prepare because our Guesthouse hosts told us they dont serve it since it takes the staff too much time. We meet lots of friendly folks at the restaurant and can practice our Kreyol. Also I occasionally meet someone who speaks Spanish, which is a treat since I can speak that fairly well. I never think my spanish is very good until I am in Haiti struggling to say basic sentences in Kreyol. My words come out like “open–door—key?” Then I meet someone from the Dominican Republic and we can have a fabulous conversation! Sienna of course is learning to speak Kreyol VERY QUICKLY, amazing all of us. We now frequently use her as a translator. Must be the advantage of an 18 year old brain compared to a 50 year old brain.

Bheki Khumalo, our podiatrist, is vegetarian AND allergic to peanut butter. Unfortunately the guest house hosts have not been very accomodating in this respect, serving meat dishes every night for supper. When the only alternative is PBJ sandwiches, that does not leave Bheki many options. One day this week we managed to find a restaurant that served grilled fish, and all of us were glad to see Bheki eat something besides rice and hot sauce.

Today (Sunday) a few of us went to a Catholic Church (more on that later) and got back to the guesthouse in time for lunch. All the restaurants and markets are closed today because of the elections. So we had stale breadsticks and peanut butter, plus Sherye provided us crushed oreos for dessert. The oreos get rather damaged in transit from the US to Haiti. Nonetheless, they taste pretty good when you are hungry.

Eating in Haiti, I am always mindful of the people who dont have the luxury of a suitcase full of granola bars and oreos for emergencies.
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