We’re 2 foreigners in the community. We move in opposite directions, one towards survival, the other towards… well, I don’t know exactly, perhaps toward a grain of understanding. We converse in a tongue that is a second language to each. One is the backbone of the community’s agricultural economy. The other’s primary job right now is to go from house to house and drink coffee.
But we’re equals when we sit face-to-face as teammates at the domino table and we sweep 3 games against our Dominican opponents. And the Haitian farm worker can count up the scores on the fichas faster than the college math major.
And to the youngest kids, we’re both just people. The other day I saw the five-year old teaching the words to the latest bachata hits to 3 Haitian farm workers, learning a little more Spanish during their lunch break.