When I first came to Haiti, I was amused by all the people, young and old, who yelled, "Hey you!" at me when I walked down the street. After I'd been living there for a few months, many of them would yell at me by name, but there were always a few who stuck with the traditional "Hey you!" I have never figured out how they learned that phrase, but I sort of like it now. It used to annoy me to no end, but I think if they ever stopped, I would miss it terribly.
Yesterday, I was biking home to my apartment in Boston in the mid-afternoon. The local high school had just let out and there were dozens of students walking down the sidewalk to the subway stop. As I rode past a group of them, one yelled, "Hey you!" I was so surprised that I almost smashed into a parked car! Oh, I miss Haiti.
Easter is kite-flying time. Every boy under the age of 18...OK, under the age of 30...buys or makes a few kites and flies them all weekend. They tie razor blades into the tails of their kites and try to cut other people's kite strings. If you cut someone else's kite down, whoever retrieves it gets it. The skies are beautiful around Easter with all the kites posing against the blue blue sky. The boys' fingers are a little less beautiful - they inevitably get all sliced up from the razors.
Miscardet is our champion kite flyer. Last year, we had very little wind at Easter, but he managed to get his kite up and he sliced down our neighbor's kite. Of course, that didn't go too well for us because the neighbor and his buddies started hurling big rocks at us. We had to hide behind the walls of the roof to escape.
This year when I called the boys a week before Easter, they were adament that they were not going to fly kites this year. "We're not allowed on the girls' roof and that's where the good wind is, and plus, we are just too old, Keziah," they said, sounding very solemn. "Yeah, whatever. When Good Friday rolls around and you see all the other kids flying their kites, you are not going to be able to resist," I argued. "Just wait and see." Sure enough, when I called the day before Easter, the boys had been flying kites for 2 days straight. Who's your Daddy?
The girls wanted to know what I had eaten for the week of Easter. I didn't eat anything particularly special, but I knew that they had. So I turned the question back to them and they got all excited: "We had kasav (flat, hard bread) for breakfast, rice and beans with chicken and beet salad for lunch. We love Easter food!"
They also told me about going to church in Petionville with their youth group for Good Friday. They went to Bataillon on Saturday, church on Sunday morning, and the Easter concert on Sunday afternoon. They also watched the Passion of Christ on Friday evening and then "we had a long time of prayer to thank God for sending Jesus to die for us. Because if He hadn't done that, where would we be? We wouldn't have anything!"
My conversation ended with Daina taking the phone. "Kez, do you want me to sing for you?" "Umm, sure, Daina." I had to jerk the phone away from my ear because she burst into a full volume operatic version of the Hallelujah chorus!
"Did you hear that, Keziah?"
"Did I hear it?!!"
"Oh, OK, I'll do it again for you."
Another ear-splitting rendition of hallelujahs and then we got cut off. No offense, Daina, but I hope the angels sound a little better than you.