13 September 2010

My Second Soul

Back when we were in language training in Colorado, we heard a Czech proverb: “Learn a second language, get a second soul.” The thought kind of haunted me, I must admit, but I didn’t realize it had actually happened until we went to St. Louis. (Yes, I realize I didn’t tell you all that I was going to St. Louis. Here’s the Reader’s Digest version: I’m sick, but I’m probably not dying any faster than anyone else.)

St. Louis was great. I got to see doctors and get tests. I ate apples and peaches and strawberries. I went to Target and got new clothes in a new size and Oxyclean and powdered Gatorade and other stuff I can’t easily get here. We went to the Arch, which made me feel oddly contemplative. We went to the zoo, which was way too cool to be free. We had the joy of getting to know Matt and Sara and their beautiful girls (Matt is David’s cousin).

It was great, but I felt like a part of me was…missing. I was different than when I left. I tried to blitz my way through reverse culture shock and very nearly made it, but five days just wasn’t quite enough. I still wasn’t right. I wasn’t me.

I didn’t feel like me until I got back on the plane to come to Haiti…and then I realized, I’d found my second soul. Sure, David and I spoke Creole in St. Louis, but it’s not the same as speaking with native speakers or hearing it around you. Creole is boisterous. It’s dramatic. It’s colorful. Even the way it sounds makes you laugh. And oddly enough, it draws out a different part of my personality to speak Creole, a part which I’d missed. But thankfully, I know where to find it from now on.

Despite the temporary housing situation, it’s good to be “home.” Thanks for the prayers for my health and for our housing…I hope to go out looking again tomorrow, so please be praying!


  1. Sweet. I've heard similar stories from others who have learned a second language and culture. I'm so happy you've transitioned so much into the new home in Haiti. Still praying for the housing situation. :)