Braids by the neighbour

I am having a nice chat with my neighbour Merline. I sit in hallway with her, well she is standing because she is doing my childs hair. Making her braids, island style.

Merline speaks a mix of french and creole. I speak french, mixing in english when I don’t know the word in french.

A kind of frenglish. I hear it everywhere here in St. Martin. People start with Bonjour and then says a sentence in english, therefrom the conversation continues in either french or english.

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We talk about family, our own parents and about our kids. My parents are 86 years old and they live in Finland. Her mother is 82 years old, lives in Haiti. I don’t ask her when was the last time she met her.

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She talks about her sisters and brothers. I tell her I have 2 sisters. Merline is a mother , I am a mother. We discover our oldest and youngest kids are of the same age. Motherhood looks the same wherever you come from.  We want the best education for our kids, we worry, we love and we grow gray hair because of them.

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