Friday, October 1, 2010

M' ap aprann kreyol: I'm learning Creole

Way back in May when I committed to teaching English in Haiti for the year, I planned to hire a Creole tutor. Throughout our correspondence over the summer, Willem and Beth both seemed very  when addressing my questions concerning the topic. Once I arrived I asked Willem about recommendations for a tutor. His reply was, "Once you are on the mountain everyday, you will learn the language. There's no need for a tutor." However, he has mentioned on several occasions that Micka, a girl my age from Gramothe who works very closely with MTM, would be able to help me with my Creole. He thinks it will be mutually beneficial because I can help her with her English.

Anyway, I had resigned myself to studying my books and listening to people speak around me as much as possible. Until Thursday. I was at the guesthouse working* when several people came to talk to Willem and Johane. Suddenly I heard my name as Johane was speaking to Willem in Creole. They had a little conversation about me, and then Johane asked, "Britney, would you like to have a Creole tutor? Arold teaches people English and he could help you learn Creole." Can you guess my answer? It was a resounding yes!

Willem had actually introduced me to Arold, pronounced like the word owl with a drawn out beginning, during the medical clinic. He seems to be a sort of administrative person for the school, and is often the "go to guy" for events in Gramothe. He agreed to come to my apartment today at 4pm for my first lesson. He taught me the letters of the alphabet, some common greetings, some phrases that are handy for school, and then answered some questions I had. I took lots of notes, and he is coming back tomorrow at 2. I hope I have enough time to study my notes before he comes.

*I went to work with Johane because I had nothing to do and I said I would help her with a project. We ended up not working on the project because we didn't have enough supplies, so I was actually checking Facebook and attempting to study my Creole Made Easy book.

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