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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Haitian culture and silly quirks

Just a few things that make me smile about the country::

Haitians are really fabulous with rhythm and dancing.

They love Celine Dion. No exaggeration. Love her. Here in Port-au-Prince, they have water trucks; exactly like our American ice cream trucks, but they sell plastic bags full of water. Also like our trucks, they play music as they drive by. They ALWAYS play Celine or christmas music. So silly.

Haitian currency is the Haitian Goud. There are 40 gouds to a dollar. The money is brightly colored and very carribean-looking. I think there are 680 gouds here- what is that? $17, maybe.

there is no recycling program here. For anything. Also, there are no public trash cans. There are dumpsters on the sidewalks downtown, most overflowing and infested with rats. People just throw trash on the ground.

A lot of the Haitian men we have met really love Eminem, Jay-Z, Chris Brown and Justin Beiber. The clothing is very Americanized; most people look straight from the states.

Another interesting thing to me is the contrast of American pop culture and Haitian culture. The people here dress very Bling, sun glasses, baggy jeans, crisp white tshirts, MLB hats, big cross necklaces. They love texting on their phones and all the boys in the house are on facebook. The contrast is that all of this ...crisp-ness.. is found in a country with touchy electricity, no running water, trash everywhere; and the most fascinating to me is how dusty it is here. Our clothes and shoes are brown at the end of everyday. We have dust on our furniture and bedsheets every night. People here dress so clean in a country that appears dusty and slightly dingey. (I use dingey with love, of course)

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