Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Golden Nuggets VI

Golden Nuggets is a term I am borrowing from my friend Sini who is spending her senior year of high school in Indonesia as a foreign exchange student. She calls all the random facts she's gathered about the country she's now living in Golden Nuggets. In that vein, I am going to periodically share Golden Nuggets about Haiti. 

  • Every morning at 8 o'clock sharp, the Haitian national anthem is played on the radio.

  • Punctuation is apparently optional in Creole. I noticed that many of my students skip punctuation of all kinds when they copy a text from the board or another piece of paper. I figured it was just one of those "I'm learning a new language" issues. But then I used a first grade reading primer in one of my Creole lessons. There was not a single punctuation mark in the entire book!! I couldn't believe my eyes. There were probably 30+ stories in the book and not a single end of sentence punctuation or an apostrophe to indicate a contraction (there are a lot of contractions in Creole). There weren't even any capital letters. I couldn't tell where sentences ended, which words were names, or which words were supposed to be contractions. It was frustrating.
  • Envelopes and gum pose a particular problem in Haiti. There's a lot of moisture in the air here on the mountain, so envelopes and gum need to be stored in airtight containers. I opened a pack of gum, ate a piece, and put the pack in my backpack. Three days later the gum had drawn enough moisture (inside my backpack) to leak all the oil and become sticky. I've seen other packs of gum that have been left out on a counter and it's not pretty. And envelopes...well they just seal themselves. I have 30 envelopes that are sealed with nothing inside them. So if you get any mail from me that looks like it's been opened and taped just. Don't worry, that was me.

1 comment:

  1. A book with no punctuation would drive me CRAZY! :)