Posted by Nicole Savage
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.
This 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.
Every 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.