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#1259: For Haitian-American students : Morse comments

From: oloffsonram <oloffsonram@globelsud.net>

i grew up with a haitian (black) mother and an american (white) father 
in connecticut...i went to summer camps, prep schools and then 
princeton...this was during the 60's and 70's...social issues were 
quite complicated back then and i could never quite figure out where 
exactly i fit in...the fact that i looked white made it even stranger 
because i often heard people saying things about race that i wouldn't 
have heard had they known my backround...i bounced back and forth 
between hanging out with white kids and hanging out at the afro-am 
societies...occasionally i would run into a haitian and they would ask 
me if i spoke creole..when i said no, that was the end of the 
discussion...eventually, in about the 11th grade i decided that 
choosing friends based on their characters rather than  their 
ethnicities was what worked best for me.. coming to haiti and learning 
about my haitian roots and learning creole really put me at ease...know 
your roots...a tree without roots gets blown down in the wind...
learning creole, it turns out was an important part of the process...i 
had a good friend here...an italian who was quadralingual...when we 
were in the company of french people we would speak french, with 
haitians or when just "hangin out" we would generally speak creole, but 
when we were talking business,strategy or money matters we would 
generally go to english..
his kids, who grew up in haiti, are quadralingual (french, creole, 
english and italian)...my kids are tri-lingual, english, french and 
creole...the children can do whatever our resources can provide for 
them...when haiti decides to have a school seat for every haitian 
child, whatever we decide to teach them (one language, five languages, 
computers, engineering, physics, math, history, culture), they'll be 
able to learn it...now if we could provide jobs or create an economy at 
the same time and put some food on the table, that would be a great 
start...my friend was a great asset to haiti, unfortunately he was shot 
in the head and killed six months ago...

richard morse