Things Worth Gagging About

Okay, I’ve been told that I absolutely have to write about this. Consider this fair warning…if you have a weak stomach, this might not be the post to be reading.

So today we decided that we’d take Peter and Paul (no Mary) to St. Marc to do some things. We started the day off in MacDonald, Barb’s community, so they could see her school, meet the teachers and students etc. After that we took a really wonderful walk down along the water to Amany Beach – a former resort that is currently being rebuilt. I had only ever driven on the road – never walked. I didn’t even know that there was a path, and had started subtly whining when I thought we were going to have to walk up the road to this place. It would have been HOT and there aren’t many trees. Turns out there was shade along the path most of the way and we got to see so many beautiful things – flowering vines growing on trees, fishermen in their boats, reefs, and TONS of fish. We have reefs in front of our place, but the water is so cloudy and the reefs are so over fished that it’s more sad than anything to go out there. I now have a place to go snorkeling that will actually prove fun. There’s an area where the reefs just drop right off – apparently about 400 feet, called the Zombie hole. They call it that because a train (the path is where the old railway once was) derailed, or is said to have, and went into the water, never to be seen again. You can actually see some train pieces right on the rocks by the shore, so I’m going to say there’s probably some truth to it.

After the walk we headed into town, stopped in to see our friends at their store, then Barb and I took Peter and Paul for a walk through the market and met Chris at the hardware store where he was buying our new scooter. Whoop. My favorite part about all that is that Chris decided before we bought it that Julie, the woman that we hired a month before we left, was going to be the only one to use it. The guys will have to use the old ones for puttering around. Julie is out on the scooter everyday doing filter follow up and should have the most reliable moto.

The next stop was lunch at a new restaurant. Barb had eaten there before and the food was good so we thought we’d give it a try. The service was good. When it came time to order we did what we always do here – we asked what they did have rather than going through a menu of everything they didn’t have, which is normal. There was cabrite, goat, and chicken. But then there wasn’t chicken because it wasn’t ready yet. So it was goat. I’ve had goat several times and it’s always been good. It’s usually cooked in a creole sauce, served with rice and beans and fried plantain. There was some confusion because the waitress was speaking French, and we don’t speak French, only Creole. This was all going on while the ordering/explaining was taking place.

Lunch started coming out of the kitchen. I have to tell you right now that Peter decided he was going to eat whatever Chris ordered – for his first Haitian meal, ever. So goat it was. Barb’s came first. I looked at it and the first thought in my head was, “I think they made a mistake with Barb’s lunch.” What I saw on Barb’s plate looked nothing like any goat I had ever eaten here before. The other plates started coming and it was the same for all of them. I quickly realized what I was looking at. I nudged Chris and under my breath said, “Um, I think we have a problem here!” Barb realized what she was looking at. Chris realized what he was looking at. We all looked at each other and were all trying not to make a big deal out of it because, well, we didn’t want to freak out our visitors. At that point we started asking the waitress if she could take the plates back and put more meat on them, and less… innards.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, in the language confusion that occurred around ordering time the one word that Chris didn’t understand was the Creole word for TRIPE! Blah. Gag. Seriously, thinking about it still brings on the gag reflex. Gah! I usually have a decently strong stomach and will eat most things. I’m not picky about much. This, however, crossed my line. I couldn’t even stomach the thought of eating what did resemble meat. My part of the “delicacy” ended up covered with my napkin while I consumed the rice and beans. Sigh. Gag. More gag.

So there you have it. People always ask me what we eat here, what kinds of food people eat. Today was the first time in the whole two years that I’ve lived here that I have been totally grossed out by what was put in front of me. People kept saying, “Oh, it’s so good!” That’s fine, you can have all you want. And mine too. I think I’ll stick to what I know and can, well, identify. My Dad sometimes makes jokes about things like hot dogs, calling them “Mystery Meat”. Well Dad, I’ve got news for you – real, true blue “Mystery Meat” is SO. MUCH. GROSSER. And, if you get out of hand in a few weeks, I might just take you out for lunch. I know this place…

Okay, I need to stop talking about this because the gag reflex is still kicking in. Aagh.

Today something else happened for the first time, ever. I was kicked out of my own kitchen! By a visitor, no less. I was getting ready to do the dishes, which was a nice pile from breakfast and supper, when Peter came in and said, “I just don’t feel right leaving you to do the dishes. Get out of here.” Um, okay. Pat, I know you’ve been reading and have been wanting more pictures of Peter. I don’t have any right now, but will try. Until then, know that your son may not be returning to university next week. I may not let him leave. EVER. ;)

This entry was posted in this is haiti, this is life by Leslie. Bookmark the permalink.

About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

3 thoughts on “Things Worth Gagging About

  1. Hi Leslie, my name is Sarah and I’m Peter’s older sister. I have to say I (and my Mom) love your blogs! I haven’t been able to talk to Peter while he has been there so your blogs have been great to read to see what he is up to! Word of advice: take advantage that he wants to do the dishes!! haha I’m kidding. You all sound like you are doing well! I’ll keep up on the blogs!!

  2. LOL!!!i think i could write a book on haitian food traps to watch out for. My husband once popped one of those crazy hot peppers (the ones they use to garnish fish) in his mouth and i thought he was going to die from the burning! we also had a team that all got food poisoning from undercooked chicken. we knew it was undercooked (which is really weird in haiti because they usually cook the snot out of chicken) but we ate it anyway to be polite…big mistake. (talk about gagging) anyway, i’ll be in haiti tomorrow and i’ll be on the look-out for innards. :)

  3. So I read this yesterday and then Mom and Dad stopped by here and took me to lunch on their way up to the Canadian Vancouver. We go to a nice Pho place (I’m not sure how they liked it… it’s a little different from what they usually eat) and there on the menu is tripe. I never would have thought about eating it until I read this. I didn’t do it yesterday, but I might next time!

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