Saturday, October 10, 2009


I learned a new word in Creole recently. Degaje:[day-gah-zhay] (v.) go with it, make it work. I have had a crazy adventure with my dad today that can only be described as degaje.

We decided to go to petionville today and then up to the Baptist mission to get some (comparatively) fresh air. We didn't have a car so we degaje'd.

We took the taptaps. It didn't take me too long to get used to sitting smashed up next to strange men and going at rollercoaster speeds on pothole-covered roads. Of course I wasn't really thinking and I wore my cute black shoes. We walked through garbage and mud strewn streets. They are now caked with mud and who knows what else. All I can do is degaje.

On one of the taptap's the seat was really sharp, and going over a huge pothole, my pants ripped in a straight line right underneath my, uh, back pocket. I was wearing a dress over them so I degaje'd.

In Petionville, I tried on some knockoff Levi's, they didn't fit over my kneecaps, but they seemed to fit everywhere else. They seriously didn't fit so I could not degaje, but I would have.

We found a taptap driver fixing his truck on the side of the road, and my dad decided to offer his assistance. Once they fixed the truck, the driver came around to our side of the cab and jiggled the door open for us. As soon as we started driving downhill he turned off he engine to save gas. Then he did something even stranger, he pulled over and ran to grab an empty bottle at a car parts store. He jumped back in and kept going. A few blocks later he stopped at a gas station and filled his bottle with gas, and added it to something in the engine. He must not even have a gas tank on that bad boy. Degaje to the max!
At least 3 people today have had really weird question about me. 2 guys asked my dad if I am his sister. Oh wow, I guess it is time to start using wrinkle cream and wearing diapers. Another guy in English asked my dad if I was his son. I am really hoping he just got his words confused. Somehow, many of those guys who thought I was a middle aged man were still very interested in getting to know me. Very strange. I guess I'll just degaje.


  1. Keep on Degaje-ing. Did you enjoy the mission? Eat any strawberries? I am remembering fondly my times in Haiti and adventures with your Dad...through your writing. Thanks for the "journey". Much love, kiddo!

  2. I am so adding "degaje" to my vocabulary!! Awesome post, my friend. So proud of you!! Love you tons!