Move house in the dark. Make love in day

Posted: 6 January 2016 in Haiti, Understanding Others
Tags: ,
Moving House

Moving House

The truck turns up in the dark and there is a lot of scraping sounds outside. Patrice is moving house. “Now? In the dark?”  I ask.  The truck was loaded up with all Patrice’s earthly possessions and off it went, with Patrice following.

It seems that Haitians often move house in the dark.  There is a very strong sense of privacy regarding their possessions.  They do not want other people to see what they have got.  Part of this is a real fear of theft.  But it is also perhaps a subtle anxiety that any display of even very modest wealth will draw envious looks and bring with it bad luck and curses.  We certainly found cases of this in Uganda, to quite a malicious extent.

But privacy can be completely differently thought of too. In the hospital, people will be found who are quite naked, nothing an at all, simply changing. And on Comier Beach there have been known to see couples in the sea in fervent conjugal embrace, heedless of others swimming nearby.  It is said here that intercourse in the sea improves the chances of conception.  And the possibility of drowning, I expect.

Our behaviour reflects our values.  The concern by many Haitians about vulnerability of possessions, and the importance of conception.  Haitian readers are welcomed to comment here, on what they see of British or American values based on British or American behaviours.

Bill

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