April Fools’ Day in Haiti

Let’s talk about April Fools Day in Haiti.  I remember growing up that we would sometimes play practical jokes on each other as a family, but the older you get the less important this day becomes.  Not with our kids!  In Haiti, April Fools Day centers on one specific joke and it plays out over and over and over again throughout the day.  Let me write out step-by-step directions so that you too could be a pro at April Fools Day here if you ever come down during this time:

  • Step 1:  Find an unsuspecting mark.
  • Step 2:  Tell the mark that someone needs to tell them something when in reality they do not need them at all.
  • Step 3:  Follow a short distance behind the mark while they seek out the person who “needs” them.
  • Step 4:  When the mark finds the person, yell out “pwason D’Avril” loudly so that everyone hears.
  • Step 5:  Laugh uncontrollably.
  • Step 6:  Find a new mark and do it all over again.

I remember when we were first down on April 1 and we thought we would join in the fun.  At the time we did not really understand Creole well enough to know what the joke was, so we piled all the kids up in the truck for school and I pretended like it would not start.   The kids lived close to 3 miles away from their school when we first started going to Haiti, and I told them that they would have to walk that morning.  As they all piled out of the car and began to walk, I yelled out what I thought was April Fools in Creole (I’m not sure what I actually said).  All the kids just looked at me like I was crazy so I tried to explain to them that the truck was not really broken and that they could pile back in.  It was an awkward next few minutes while I tried to explain to them what April Fool’s Day is in America and I am pretty sure they never fully understood it.  Anyway, ever since that failed attempt at humor, we have followed the above step-by-step instructions and we have gotten more laughs out of that than any other single thing we ever do.  So, I am really looking forward to tomorrow when I can tell every kid that someone needs them when, in reality, they actually do not!  

I forgot to mention, the further the person has to walk to find the person who needs them, the funnier it is, so I am going to try and get someone really good tomorrow.

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