When I first starting learning Kreyol I overheard one of the older boys call me “Blan Pam” (my white). He didn’t realize I understood him & was shocked when I responded by calling him “Nwa Pam” (my black). That brief conversation created lasting nicknames & was the start of a friendship. His name is Predel and he came to live at H2H when he was 11 years old. His parents live in Bouva, which is a small mountain community where we have a sister church. It was Predel’s dad that gave me the goat, Pablo.

His parents had twins a few months ago… born at home (in the below house) just like their other 6 children. Sparked by my friendship with Nwa Pam, I have become friends with his parents & I visit their home in Bouva every chance I get. Like many families in Bouva, Nwa Pam’s parents are heavily involved in Voodoo.

When my parents came last month they brought presents for the new twins so my last to Bouva was a special one. Here are some photos:

Their house:

Their yard… & Pablo:

Nwa Pam with his parents:

The twins:

Meeting their “aunt” for the first time:

Writing about Nwa Pam and his family was inspired by this poem I read last week while I was visiting GLA…

What is it?

It is nonsense says reason
It is what it is says love

It is misfortune says calculation
It is nothing but pain says fear
It is hopeless says insight
It is what it is says love

It is ridiculous says pride
It is careless says caution
It is impossible says experience
It is what it is says love

Enich Fried

I’m not sure I can express why this poem reminds me of this family but I’ll try…

Each time I visit this home in Bouva I am struck by their primitive way of life. They survive. I don’t mean for this to come across as looking down on them or being arrogant… I respect these people & I am growing to love them. But as the poem implies, my insecurities (pride, fear, experience) caused me to judge them. I am ashamed of this judgment but acknowledging this has allowed me to realize how my culture & upbringing has shaped my way of viewing people and I am beginning to break that thought pattern. They are who they are. Their beliefs, expectations & desires do not make them any better or worse then me. It is what it is. If my insecurities are causing me to judge them I can’t imagine what must be going through their mind!! Their ability to lower their guard & welcome me into their lives is humbling to me. As I eat with them or sit in their yard and just talk, it is surreal for me – what a different world than I am used to in Canada! Yet I sit there, completely comfortable, talking to my friends. It is what it is.