Within some of the day-to-day here in Haiti - getting up, making breakfast, washing dishes- I can forget what an adventure we are on, and what a privilege it is to be here.
In coming to Haiti, we have the honor of trying to learn a new culture and language. Studying Kreyol is really fun for us. Our first set of lessons occupied our three week home stay in Dezam, and they have continued every Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings through the end of next week. Ted and I would both like to become "Kreyol masters," I think. We see other foreigners who have worked here for years and we admire their language abilities. We want to be like them! But that mindset will discourage us more days than not while we're here. Some days we advance, and other days we can feel stuck in the mud.
We are still "kids" in a lot of ways. Learning a new language is not just about acquiring words, but about understanding innumerable nuances, gestures, and expressions. After three years here, we still won't understand most of these things! Learning language is about learning a new culture, really. And this is not an overnight process with some fast track option - not at all.
In the midst of our day-to-day, we need to remember that this is not our native context but appreciate the fact that we are here. It is a gift.
This was re-posted from Katharine & Ted's personal blog, Stories to Tell.
Katharine is from San Diego, California and has served with MCC Haiti since July 2014 as Advocacy Coordinator and Policy Analyst. She studied History and Religious Studies at University of California Davis, then International Development at Eastern University. You can follow her Instagram on life in Haiti @katharineoswald, Haiti advocacy news on Facebook, and her personal blog, Stories to Tell.