Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Haitian Proverbs

Recently I was telling Troy about my remorse over judging Jean's mother too harshly. I told him to use his renewed interest in Haitian Proverbs to help me explain it in proverb form.

I was sort of looking for something along the lines of "Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes" -- but a Haitian version. (Not the Jack Handy version - “Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.”)

I'm not sure we ever came up with exactly what we were looking for. We came close with a few and we found tons of goofy Haitian proverbs. The oddest ones being about monkeys and then, something about how "spread pee does not foam." Whatever that means.

Jean has been coming for a few weeks now. I can see why his mother did not stick with bringing him up here. I brought him home a few times and it is really hard to maneuver his wheelchair on the uneven, rocky road. While I still don't count her among my favorite people --- it is difficult for her to get him here by herself. I can see how she might not be up for the physical challenge every day. One of Jean's brothers is doing it now and we all seem to have worked out a system. If it did not create such a production, we could go down to his house ... but walking around with vitamins or lotion or anything of value in the village is a lot like pulling up in a Publishers Clearinghouse Van the day after the drawing. It is much better to take care of things privately - for Jean and for us.
I don't see tons of improvement in Jean's skin condition yet. It is a little less dry and there are not bugs anymore, so that's a start. He used to cry on bath days, once we figured out that he wanted to be in the sun and not have too much water dumped on his head, things improved.

Random Proverbs-

Woch nan dlo pa konnen doule woch nan soley.
The rock in the water knows not the pain of the rock in the sun.

Se soulye-k'konn si choset gen trou.
It's only shoes that know if socks have holes.

Si ou vle gen rezon devan kras se benyen pou ou benyen.
If you want to overcome dirt (crud), you must bathe.