Haitian Halloween

All this talk of pumpkin farms and apple orchards makes me a bit homesick.  Someone asked about Halloween here in Haiti, thinking that with the voodoo presence here, Halloween would get big play.  NOT!  
There doesn’t seem to be the connection like you would think.  In fact
Nov 1 (All Saints Day) and Nov 2 (All Souls Day) are both holidays
here, since there is a strong Catholic presence here. 


Voodoo
has incorporated a lot of Catholicism into its “worship”, with some of
the saints being some of the spirit “gods”.  The height of voodoo seems
to be from Mardi Gras (Tuesday before Ash Wednesday) and Easter, with
the nightly drumming and street marches getting more feverish the
closer you get to Easter.  During this time you can even see people
dressed up with masks and strange
clothes, trying to scare the children
and play games with the adults.  I’m sure there are other times when
voodoo has special celebrations, but I don’t know what they are.


We
do have pumpkins here and they are used in a traditional pumpkin soup for
New Year’s Day.  They’re not nice and orange like ours.  They are greenish
and rough on the outside, like some of the gourds that you see back
home but they taste great.  And our sweet potatoes aren’t anything like the orange sweet
potatoes that you have.  They are white on the inside.  It is kind of
different when they use them to make potato salad!  We buy apples from time to time in PAP as a special treat, since they are all imported.

One of our staff members just gave us a pumpkin and, on the spur of the moment, I grabbed a marker and made a semblance of a jack-o-lantern.  Since we will be eating it later, I couldn’t actually carve it and had to reassure Felix that the marker wouldn’t affect it’s edibility. 

Happy trick-or-treating! 


(By the way, it was last year on Halloween that Matthew got his US passport in Miami firmly establishing him as a US citizen.  That was a big treat for all of us!)

 

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4 responses to “

  1. I’ve really been wanting a carmel apple or a big juicy apple pie with ice cream and carmel sauce!  Not going to happen and it’s probably for the best! Love reading about your life, give Matthew a hug for me (if he remembers me!)

  2. Trick or Treat!  Matthews’ citizenship anniversary is another reason to celebrate with a pumpkin or cake.  I was in the Dominican Republic on a Halloween night and they sure went all out for trick or treat.  We were warned to stay inside that night due to all the “partying.”  Well–we were supposed to stay in after dark every night but that was our only free time so we shopped anyway.  Although the hotels were in the high tourist range, the poverty outside of the city was astounding and I’ll never forget some of those experiences.  I especially remember visiting with an old crippled lady lying on the muddy floor of her “house” with two naked babies crawling around  her–they were all loaded with flies.  When we prayed together, I had trouble finding words but that old women just kept praising God on and on for His great love.  I grew spiritually that day and secretly slipped them a few American twenties (against the rules, but I couldn’t help it–how could I face Jesus without doing something for them?).  Anyway, I have great respect for God’s servants like you who can minister long term in such situations.  God bless you for what you do every day for Him!

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