Wisdom from Haiti

Lessons learned by 2013 Sewanee interns in Haiti:

1) As soon as you make plans they are almost guaranteed to change

2) Hurry up and wait is the norm, you need to learn to relax and be open to not getting everything done when, where, or how you may want it to

3) While in Port au Prince cars seem to always be on the verge of crashing, but some invisible force field keeps them from actually hitting one another

4) It can be challenging to be a vegetarian in Haiti

5) Tobasco eating contests are generally a bad idea (ahem Ford Rushton), especially when you didn’t realize you’re allergic to hot peppers

6) Eating more than 2 or 3 mangoes a day is a very very bad idea

7) People here are very friendly and have demonstrated incredible hospitality to us

8) Haitians play soccer very differently than Americans

9) Eating a lot of super refined white bread + peanutbutter sandwiches is good if you are having dysentery, but not so good if you’re not having those issues as it is the equivalent of intestinal glue

10) It’s okay to ask for help from friends to get things done

11) When in doubt laugh it off

12) Don’t just say “wi” or yes to something if you don’t understand what someone is saying

13) Haitian beer “Prestige” is pretty darn good after a long day of hiking


Some Haitian Proverbs!

– Salt doesn’t know it’s salty

– The cow can’t see it has horns

– Beyond mountains, there are mountains

– A woman is like mahogany, the older the better

– If you see what a chicken eats, you wouldn’t eat chicken

Thanks for reading!     -Linnea

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