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Ville Anne Marie

October 23, 2011

I feel like somehow I have been catapulted up the social ladder.  I just returned from  five hours of sumptuous dining at Ville Anne Marie, one of Saint-Marc’s finer restaurants, with Dr. Felix, two other doctors and four very accomplished nurses who will be teaching in the COPSA nursing program.  Lengthy introductions were made and some of the details of the program were discussed.  The conversation was in French rather than Creole, and I was amazed at how much of what I once knew is still with me.  I certainly didn’t understand every word as some people speak in a way that makes them hard to understand,  and my old ears don’t do well with loud background music these days, but I was able to follow much of the conversation.

We dined on a roofed patio with lush tropical plants around us.  The breeze carried in rain, giving the evening a lovely cool freshness.  The service was excellent, and although the food took forever to come, it was worth the wait.  I had grilled fish crusted with spices and drizzled with lime—loads of flavour and lots of heat.  Everything was done to perfection.  It was without a doubt the best meal I have had in Haiti by a country mile.

Haitians are such good company.  They are boisterous and love to laugh.  Even when I didn’t follow the conversation it was fun.  Dr. Felix and Dr. Appolon made sure I was getting the gist of what was said, and the others included me as much as they could.  Besides the two doctors, only one of the nurses spoke a little English.

I learned a couple of things tonight.  Haitian professionals dress the part, so I will need to buy some dress clothes, something I never thought I’d need here.  The ladies in particular were dressed to the nines.  And as I mentioned, I now need to work on two languages.  The professional community in Haiti speaks French.  But like Quebeçois, Haitian French has a flavour of its own; it has more than a touch of Creole influence.

My head is still spinning.  I’m not quite sure what to make of all that is happening.  I have doctors treating me like I’m some visiting dignitary.  I am chauffeured around in an air-conditioned vehicle.  I seem to have been swept through a space warp and find myself in an unfamiliar universe.  Fortunately the natives are very friendly.

I’m hoping this isn’t just another touch-and-go landing, but I’d better keep my seatbelt buckled.  God’s plans for me are full of surprises.

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