Skip to content

Goat in the mist

A day doesn’t go by in Haiti that I don’t see at least one goat. Yes, we’re in the capital of the country, but they are everywhere, as are chickens, pigs and cows. The little goats are about the cutest thing you’ll ever see.

A few weekends ago we decided to drive up into the mountains above Port-au-Prince to the town of Kenscoff and surrounding area. Not only are the views spectacular up there, but I was cold for the first time in Haiti from something other than air conditioning. On the day we went, the mountains were wrapped in mist, keeping things cool and damp. Perfect for a hike.

About half way through our short hike we started to hear the most pitiful cries. They almost sounded like a child throwing a temper tantrum in short, rhythmic outbursts. We couldn’t see very far through the fog, but when we finally got closer we saw a young goat tied up to a stake. He was making a horrible racket. I’m not sure if he was afraid of us, or if he wanted us to save him since he knew his inevitable fate. Either way he eyed us as we walked by, bellyaching the whole time.  I caught a photo of our goat in the mist.


The hike was beautiful, and afterwards we enjoyed a delicious meal at a nice mountain restaurant. My husband ordered chicken. I ordered goat. It was delicious.


Speaking of goats (since that’s today’s topic) I want to share 4 goat related proverbs. As I mentioned before, Haitians have tons of proverbs and often use them to make a quick point or give advice. I have to admit I’ve never heard any of these used in Haiti yet (not that my job lends itself to people using proverbs with me), but we learned these proverbs in our Creole class in DC. I’ve included the Haitian Creole proverb, the literal translation, and a similar proverb we have in English. Enjoy!

  • Kabrit ki gen twòp mèt mouri nan solèy.

    • Literal: A goat with too many masters dies in the sun.

    • English version: Too many cooks spoil the broth.

  • Kabrit gade je met kay avan li antre.

    • Literal: A goat looks into the eyes of the master before he enters the house.

    • English version: Look before you leap.

  • Se lè ou fin kite kabrit pase, wap di fèmen baryè

    • Literal: It’s only after you let the goat pass that you close the gate.

    • English version: Closing the barn door after the horse is gone.

  • Pa file kouto, lè ou poko kenbe kabrit

    • Literal: Don’t sharpen your knife when you haven’t yet caught the goat.

    • English version: Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
One Comment Post a comment
  1. EPA. Some deep psychological stuff going on here. Almost seems eating the goat was an act of revenge. 🙂

    But perhaps this was an act of mercy. Maybe eating young goat before they procreate is a good thing. As they say (somewhere, I’m sure) a goat in time saves nine.

    November 17, 2013

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: