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Haiti in What about your saucepans
What about your saucepans
Ten years in the life of a British woman
living in the Dominican Republic


This is a list of how often and where the term 'Haiti' appears in the book What about your saucepans.

Search result for 'Haiti' in What about your saucepans

"...Oh sod it, I thought. I might as well give it a go. I spoke no Spanish, but luckily he was Haitian so we chatted in French. He explained how to climb on, and off we went with me hanging onto him for dear life. Over the next few trips I became used to them, learnt how to climb on and off without burning my leg on the exhaust pipe, and ..."
"...I was not alone in my hut, as apart from the rats, I had my very own staff. Jason, Billy, Frank and Martin. Jason was Haitian, in the country legally, and in charge of water sports, which involved handing out free masks and snorkels, fins and kayaks. The other three were Dominican and walked along the beach and by the pool, signing tourists up for pool dives, where I could then sell them a diving ..."
"...A ‘sanky panky’ is a Dominican or Haitian man who goes out with a foreign woman with one aim, to extort as much money from her as possible. Love does not enter the equation. They are con men pure and simple and will normally prey on older and larger ladies, who might find it hard to find ..."
"...Jason always wanted a foreign girlfriend, but he was very short, so he had no success. He had been working for me for about a year, and in the country for two years, when one day a visitor turned up for him. It was his ex-girlfriend from Haiti who he had not seen since he left, two years before. She was seven months pregnant and said the baby was his. ..."
"...“Lindsay,” he replied patiently, “you clever, but you not unnerstan’ my country, Haiti. We have Tropical Syndrome. The woman become pregnant, but if her man go away, the baby not grows as she sad an’ missin’ her man. She can be pregnant for years, ’til she know she see her man again, and she happy and the baby begins to grows again.” ..."
"... So now you know. The baby was born two months later. Jason had originally left Haiti when he saw his girlfriend kissing his best friend, and he was angry with both of them. He explained to me that God had punished him for being angry by making the baby look exactly like his best friend. ..."
"...Jason was intelligent. He could speak fluent English, French, Creole and Spanish, but it was impossible for me to change his way of thinking. Dominicans and Haitians had entrenched beliefs, which I could not question or change. These beliefs had been passed down from parents to children through generations, and in their eyes were true. ..."
"...is situated in the northern part of the Caribbean and is part of Hispaniola, an island discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492 and used as his springboard for the Spanish conquest of the Caribbean. The DR takes up roughly two thirds of the island with the western third being Haiti. The area of the country is 48,730 km²–twice the size of Wales – making it the second largest country in the Caribbean after Cuba. The northern coast lies on the Atlantic Ocean and the south on the Caribbean. The capital, Santo Domingo, is situated in the middle of the ..."
"...Although Hispaniola is one island, the two countries, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, are completely different in terms of culture, language and people. As they developed, the country we know as Haiti, having been colonised by the French, concentrated on growing sugar cane, becoming one of the most productive colonies in the northern hemisphere. In order to achieve these massive levels of ..."
"...However, in the Dominican Republic it was a different story. The population was less than Haiti and subsistence farming the main occupation. As the Spanish weren’t interested in sugar production, they didn’t import large numbers of slaves. By 1790 there were 125,000 white Spanish landowners, 60,000 slaves and 25,000 black and mulatto freemen. The blacks were a minority and as the Spanish were encouraged to ..."
"...Although many Dominicans today like to say they are descended directly from the Indians, the majority are a mix of the African and Spanish, with 85% of the population being brown skinned or mulatto, and the rest of pure Spanish or pure African descent. The proximity to Haiti, one of the poorest nations in the world, brings with it particular issues for the Dominican Republic. The population of the DR is estimated at 10 million but of these it is impossible to determine how many are Haitian who have entered the country both legally and illegally. Estimates ..."

"... Mary on the wall. Despite the poverty every casista would have a television. There were hundreds of homes like this, built up in little shanty villages, lived in by Dominicans and Haitians. It made me feel very humble. For those who worked, the average wage was 5000 pesos a month, around ..."
"...to him it was normal to help out his friends as he always had, and he saw everything in the house as belonging to all of us. I would see motoconcho drivers wearing my T-shirts, and it was frustrating when things disappeared all the time. I spotted a little Haitian lad wearing my Timberland boots one day on his way to school and as soon as I got home I yelled at Alberto, “Why the hell did you give my boots to that kid?” ..."
"...growing at the side of the road and there were fewer and fewer vehicles. Slowly the mountains came into view, rising majestically above the blue Caribbean ocean and on the right were sugar cane fields as far as the eye could see. As we moved closer I could see Haitian men, stripped to the waist with the sweat glistening on their muscular bodies as they chopped the cane, the same way it had been done for centuries. The hump-backed oxen stood in the shade of the trees swatting the myriads of flies from their backs with their raggedy tails. ..."

Chapter 3: Family life
"...was to own his own business. The colmado was called Mar Azul (literally blue sea) and open all hours. It sold basic food stuffs and you could buy as little as you liked − one bread roll, one clove of garlic, one olive and one cigarette. Many Dominicans and Haitians do not have fridges and would only buy enough for a day at a time. They were not able to save money; there was never enough to think of saving. If it was in their pocket they spent it and had to hustle for money until they were paid ..."
"...And people went to the shop to see Danilo. He was equally popular with Dominicans and Haitians alike. He was funny and always made them laugh, and the children adored him. He would arm wrestle with the Haitian construction workers giving them a bottle of beer if they beat him, played magic games with the kids and give them sweets. He would teach the tourists to ..."
"...did not last long, as she spat at Can Can once too often and met a gruesome end. She was replaced by Matilda and Mauricio, who started the Feliz cat dynasty, and in time we ended up with twelve cats. As more were born, more were barbecued by our Haitian neighbours or killed by the dogs. By then, as well as Can Can, we had her daughter Fred, named after the French diving instructor as she was born on his birthday, and was half pit bull and half street dog, called vira lata which literally means dustbin turn over, ..."
"...Every morning I would go outside to drink my coffee and walk into a tropical paradise. At night the air was filled with the sounds of little frogs and cicadas, and the heavy scent of the flowers, mixed with the smell of charcoal from the Haitian and Dominican neighbours cooking outside their casitas. ..."

"...not all, and our house became a major meeting point. I began to call his friends ‘dwendies’, which is taken from the Spanish word for garden gnome, duende. I would wake up in the morning and wander outside in my dressing gown and there would be four or five Haitians and Dominicans sitting in my garden, like gnomes without the fishing rods. They would hang around most of the day, and if they did not turn up during the day they would arrive in the evening when dinner was being served. I would cook for ten rather than five. ..."
"... at eighteen. “Why doesn’t he have a cedula?” I persisted. “Because when he was small his father sold his birth certificate to an illegal Haitian. No birth certificate, no cedula. No cedula, you no can work.” There were about twenty dwendies altogether. They would come and go ..."
"...have Angelita clean. Is only 5,000 pesos every month.” He was right, it was about £100 a month and would make my life much easier. Angelita was a seriously large lady in her mid twenties who lived opposite us in a little wooden shack. Although she was born to Haitian parents, she had been born in the DR, had a Dominican cedula and was technically Dominican. She had six children by four different fathers, none of whom were currently with her. ..."
"...although not completely disappeared. I had other sofas, and she had none – I was learning to share. Angelita continued to live in her hut opposite us and gradually her one hut became forty huts, each with a family. When we moved into our house there were maybe fifty Haitians living in huts close to us, and this increased rapidly over the years to several hundred, especially after the earthquake. If you went into Angelita’s hut it was full of things from my house. I had no idea she had taken so much. We stayed friendly with her, and ..."
"... - Kotex = sanitary towel Sanwee - sandwich Una fria - literally ‘a cold one’ = beer And the Haitians who had recently arrived and could not speak Spanish would ask for everything in Creole. At the same time Danilo was spending more time with José Luis Bencosme and Franklin Compres ..."
"...Our electricity was often out, as so many Haitians were now plugged into our line, and in the end we paid for our own transformer (nearly a year in the installation process), which delivered reliable electricity, much more than many places in the DR had. Occasionally the load would be too much and the transformer would blow up. ..."

"...slates to fly off in hurricanes and no wood to get munched by termites. The concrete is mixed by hand in buckets and hauled up to the roof by means of a man on the roof with a rope. It has to be done quickly, and there were twenty Haitians or so working, far more than the usual three or four, under the supervision of the maestro (foreman), Chi Chi, he of the large ears, and a few gallons of rum. For some reason the putting on of the plata always involves rum. Although it is hard work in ..."
"...Two men were standing by the gate and it seemed they were trying to open it. They looked Haitian, one short and stocky, and the other tall, with his hair braided. They looked familiar and I realised the taller one had been working on the house that morning. I approached them and noticed the padlock on the ground, which I thought was odd. ..."
"...Juander carried me out into the dusty street, where a large crowd of Haitians had gathered after hearing the gunshots and the dogs going wild. Angelita was among them and managed to take my handbag. Everyone was screaming and yelling, “Lindsay dead! Lindsay dead!” The noise was deafening. In the end they put me in my jeep, in the passenger seat, and six ..."
"...“Hopital,” I whispered faintly, wheezing with every gasp, “Por favor, hopital. Carry me, carry me, please hospital.” Juander and another Haitian scooped me up and carried me, running along the track with forty or more Haitians behind, yelling and screaming I was dead. Halfway to the clinic a motoconcho stopped to help and I was unceremoniously draped over the back of his bike. A few minutes later we arrived at ..."
"... drove to Dr Galvas’ clinic. At the same time, Chi Chi, the maestro, had been woken up at his house by someone yelling I was dead, and while running to my house was picked up by a Haitian in a jeep, and together they raced to the clinic. Billy saw them arriving. “Thank goodness, quickly they ..."
"...The drive to San Pedro was chaotic. The Haitian driver was terrified and nearly had several accidents. I lay across Billy and Chi Chi in the back seat. By now I couldn't feel or see anything, but I could hear Billy. He spoke to me in near perfect English. “Please don't die, Lindsay, don't die! Hold on, we’re ..."
"...Apart from being genuinely concerned about my well being, the Dominicans and Haitians who had helped me were terrified I would die. If I died without anyone knowing who had shot me, then Danilo and the children would have been arrested and Danilo would have been charged with murder. Usually in the DR if a woman is shot, it is her husband ..."
"... in. “Lindsay, what hatping? Who do this?” Danilo asked. I started to try and speak but Dr Hussein yelled, “Don’t talk! You have a tracheotomy, you shouldn’t speak!” The three policemen bent closer. I signalled two with my hand. “Haitian or Dominican?” demanded the police. ..."
"...Haitian,” I mouthed. I wanted to tell them about the braids and gestured I wanted a pen and paper and wrote it down. There were two men, one tall and one short, the tall one had braids. Was building house. The fact one had braids ensured great business for the ..."
"...helped me. They did so selflessly, knowing there was a good chance they would be arrested. Without them I would have died. I was also very grateful to those who came to visit me in hospital and when I came out. The generosity of spirit of the Dominican and Haitian people really did come shining through. Some went to Higuey, a city some two hours away, to light candles to the Virgin Mary at the cathedral and prayed I might live. The inefficiency of the health system, the lack of ambulances and nationwide emergency medicine, made me appreciate the ..."

Chapter 6: Back to normal
"... the rumours, I began to see them in a different light. I had befriended a Haitian woman who was having twins. Unfortunately, one twin died at birth and the other a couple of months later. I was telling a supposed expat friend about this. “I feel sorry for her, she was so looking forward to ..."
"... in shock. “What did you just say?” I asked, incredulously. “No need to look like that,” she snapped. “You know it’s true. Listen, the Dominicans and Haitians just aren’t like us. They’re mostly retards.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and I realised I didn’t ..."
"...Slowly the gossip machine started to get weary of talking about us, and although we didn’t go out as much, life carried on the same as before. We had a new gardener, Jean, who was Haitian. He was Jason's father-in-law and had arrived from Haiti the previous year. He was 60 years old, and, unable to find work locally, was spending all day in the colmado, cleaning and generally hanging around. As Araña had departed, we needed a new gardener and I was keen to ..."
"...“He is in the church. He is the pastor. He is pastor and dentist.” There was a little Haitian church, constructed out of wood and plastic sheeting, down the road from us, and the pastor would hold his surgery after the church service. Oui Oui was missing his two front teeth so I assumed it may be about those. Off he trotted and returned an hour later holding ..."
"...been decided to split San Pedro into two and appoint a new Mayor for what was to be called the Municipality of Guayacanes, which was to be made up of seven towns and villages. The largest was Guayacanes, a fishing town where the population was mainly Dominican with some Haitians and a few foreigners. It was on the beach, and there was talk of it being developed into more of a tourist area. The second largest, in terms of population was Los Conucos, a shantytown away from the beach, but where many people lived who worked in Juan Dolio. ..."

Chapter 9: La primera dama
"...The important components are a carpa (a tarpaulin) erected in the garden to shade people from the sun or protect from rain, and there is coffee and rum to drink. Haitian funerals also have drummers and fabulous singing. It is a celebration of life, although the widow and children are often hysterical, sometimes lying flailing on the floor. They occasionally become unconscious through hysteria. ..."
"...I have been to several funerals and have often been asked to take photos of the deceased in their coffin, as few Dominicans or Haitians have a camera. I cannot say it was my favourite job, especially when it involved children, but I did get used to it. I had never known so many people die. Some were motorcycle or car accidents, which was not surprising given the standard of driving and the fact ..."

"...Every day something bad happened. The cleaning lady left, though I was managing to scrape the money together to pay her; her husband did not want her working for us. The gardener, Oui Oui, broke his arm and went back to Haiti, as he did not trust Dominican doctors. Between us we gardened and cleaned, it kept us busy and we could not afford to employ anyone else. We were living off my private pension, which I had taken after I was shot – it was only £500 a month and ..."
"... elsewhere. You are registered where you had your first cedula or identity card, unless you made a specific effort to change it. In addition there were several thousand undocumented Haitians, and this had increased since the earthquake – they were not eligible to vote. Each voting ..."

Chapter 11: Hope
"... I am a different from the person who left England ten years ago. I left with money and now have none, none at all. I have experienced a depth of love and caring I have never known before. Not only from Danilo, but also from other Dominicans and Haitians and new expat friends I have made here. I have learned to be less selfish and more giving. The level of generosity from my family and friends has been incredible. I have learnt what is important in life are our fellow human beings – not what you are, what ..."

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What is the relationship like between the Dominican Republic and Haiti?

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