The goud, the dollar, and the future of haiti

I love Haiti.

It is a place full of insanity and seemingly asinine contradictions. For example, the denomination of the actual printed money used here in Haiti are called "gouds." The exchange rate from gouds to US dollars is 40 gouds:1 USD. However, there is another 'imaginary' currency that is the official currency...the Haitian Dollar. You could spend your life searching haiti for an actual haitian dollar, but you will never find one. It is an imaginary currency that goes like this...1 USD = 8 Haitian Dollars = 40 goud. It really isn't that big of a deal, until your seamstress shows up asking for money in Haitian dollars and you start doing the translations in your head. You turn around and say, "So 400 goud is what you need right?' Only to be told, "We don't deal in gouds, that's imaginary currency."

That's right. It wasn't a typo. The currency which has no physical existence is the 'real' currency, while the physical denomination of gouds is imaginary.

Again. I love Haiti. 

I love Haiti because in the midst of over-NGOed, foreign aid entitled people, there is a young man willing to learn, work hard, and make an honest wage for the sake of his future and his family. He sticks out among the masses because at the end of a long day of my free labor in Haiti, he looks me square in the face and says in broken English, "Thank so much for the teaching me today." It is for this young man my heart longs to see this nation walk in prosperity once again.

1 comment:

  1. Hey JD

    I knew you briefly at Gordon, I think you were a junior or senior when I started, but either way it's cool to see you are in Haiti. I am definitely passionate about Haiti and God did some crazy things to make that happen. You can backtrack on my blog if you want the full story (http://lettherebelightphoto.blogspot.com/).

    Anyway, hope it goes well being in Haiti. If you need any additional contacts, let me know and I can pass some great people along to you. Not sure if you are working strictly out of PAP or if you are working outside it as well, but hope your trip this time is a blessing and that you are able to fully prepare for your next trip. God's got a plan for your med-school too!



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