What My Visit to Haiti Taught Me

As a traveler, I do not fancy myself on visiting remote destinations for the benefit of touring the country.  My desire is to truly immerse myself in the culture and to learn as much about the culture as a possibly can.  That typically has been the case for all of my trips.  However, my recent visit to Haiti taught me so much more than I expected.  I dispelled a few myths, I experienced the joy, beauty and grace of a country abandoned, and I learned more about myself in five days than in five years.  Below are the top 10 things that Haiti taught me (in no particular order).

  1. Truly, only the strong survive.
  2. Laugh, love, live, and learn to smile.
  3. Not everyone will see your beauty, but God and small children will.  There is no need to conform to anyone else’s standard of beauty.
  4. If you have access to clean water, you are more blessed than you will ever know.
  5. If you have access to free education, you are indeed blessed.
  6. Education is a privilege, not a right.  Never take it for granted.
  7. Beauty is not physical nor is it tangible.  It is spiritual.
  8. Surrendering to God’s will yield benefits that exceed your wildest imagination.
  9. Those who have the least know sometimes know the most.
  10. Do not stop climbing the mountain because it seems to high; the view from the top is amazing and is worth the climb.  Sometimes you have to face your fears head on, don’t quit.

May 2017 – Favorite Caribbean Island List

Another month, another island recently visited.  As of 30 May 2017, I have only four islands remaining to complete my second bucket list.  The islands that I am following are based on the list found on the caribbeantravel.com website*.  God willing, I will visit two more island during my birthday month.

30. Dominican Republic
29. Puerto Rico
28. St. Barthelemy
27. Saba
28. Turks and Caicos
25. Cayman Islands
24. Curaçao
23. St. Eustatius
22. Bonaire
21. Aruba
20. Bahamas
19. Bermuda
18. Haiti**
17. Anguilla
16. Martinique
15. Dominica
14. Trinidad and Tobago
13. British Virgin Islands
12. St. Lucia
11. United States Virgin Islands
10. Guadeloupe
9. Cuba
8. Antigua & Barbuda
7. Barbados
6. Jamaica (but still #1 in my heart)
5. Grenada
4. St. Maarten/St. Martin
3. Belize
2. St. Kitts & Nevis

And still sitting in the number 1 spot…… St. Vincent & The Grenadines

 

* List is based upon the destinations found on Caribbean Travel
** Latest entry

And the Grammar is Horrible

Ever heard the term “speaking the queens english”?  Well, it’s typically used to describe someone who uses “proper” grammar.  One who doesn’t split verbs, leave the “g” off a gerund ending, or use creative words.  However, who is to actually say what is right and what is wrong?  It would be nice for people to take a step back and just think for a second (prior to correcting someone’s grammar) whether or not the language that the individual is conversing in is actually their native language.  I find this to be particularly annoying by individuals who are only well versed in one language, but always want to correct someone who speaks 2 or more.

Even when correcting someone who is a native speaker of a particular language, it is important to know that certain regions, cultures, and communities actually have a language that is unique to that area.  “Come back yuh hear?”  Of course it is not the king’s english, but very few people would not know that actually is a way of saying “Please come back.”  If someone is “fixin” or “fenda” do something, that just means they are about to do something.  No shock there.  And as far as those bad “chirren” are concerned, oh well those are just some high energy country children who have a lot of energy.

What seems to be “horrible” to one person, is just a normal way of having a conversation to another.  This post was actually inspired (for lack of a better term) by the individual on facebook who chastised someone’s use of the english vernacular, without considering that person’s background.  Clearly the person who made the comment is a Rhodes scholar and never used lazy english.  But, for those of us who are travelers, love to learn, and are love experiencing various cultures, we can appreciate the cajuns in Lousiana, the geechees in the carolina’s, and those southerners in northern Florida.

In this blog, I try to utilize proper grammar; however, depending on the day, you may get a bit of jamaican patois, dirty south twang, trini slang, or caribbean kréole.  What can I say?  I am a citizen of the world and a creature of my environment and I make no apology for dat!  I doh apologize!  Me nuh apologize.  You understood me, right?  LOL

 

(Of course you know spellcheck is going to obliterate this post).