It was a cool brisk morning in Petionville, Haiti when we left the Best Western hotel to go to a radio studio to be interviewed. Chef Alain Lemaire and I were in the hotel shuttle bus preparing to talk about an upcoming food festival that Alain was cooking at and I was photographing. It was my first "solo" trip to Haiti without my husband. It felt weird, but also empowering.
The interview was going pretty well until the popular talk show host started speaking to me in Creole. I froze. I started sweating and panicking because my Creole was not good enough to speak on a Haitian radio station. I kindly told him that I was more comfortable speaking English for the interview and he pretty much said, how can you have a website about Haiti and not even speak Creole? I was mortified, but we continued the interview which was also broadcasted in the US. In the end, it went well and I was happy I did it.
Although I was embarrassed about what had happened, I didn't let it stop me from continuing to spread the word about The Real Haiti. From then on, I made it my business to continue to learn as much as I could about Haiti even if I didn't know or speak Creole perfectly.
Since then, I created The Real Haiti Academy, the first and only digital site with Haitian cultural lessons and activities for kids. I did years or research, collaboration and executing ideas to make sure I was providing something that was not available....
The interest sparked when my husband and I started having kids. I didn't want to be stuck in a spot where I "couldn't talk or teach about Haiti because I didn't speak Creole perfectly" with our boys. In order to teach them about Haiti and introduce them to the Creole language, I started creating worksheets, coloring pages and activities about Haiti and the Haitian culture. Truth is, I created them myself because it was impossible to find any online!
Sticking to our original mission of bringing light to the amazing culture, places and people of Haiti, I am thrilled to be connected and happy that you've found us by downloading the freebie worksheets.
If you like the freebie worksheets, I promise you will LOVE The Real Haiti Academy. It truly is a one-of-a-kind platform that has endless amounts of multimedia materials to learn about Haiti. You won't find this unique information anywhere else....and it's easy....all in one place!
P.S. You don't need to speak Creole to use it. Everything is in English and Creole.
I was invited as an honoree to attend the 2nd Annual Women International Month awards ceremony honoring women in the media for a "Beacon of Hope and Achievement Award," March 27, 2014.
I had the absolute pleasure of being interviewed by Pierre of CIUT 89.5FM in Canada! The interview was on Aug. 11 and a coy of the show is above. Pierre asked wonderful questions and really wanted to learn about The Real Haiti and what inspires me. The whole crew was extremely professional and everything ran smoothly. CIUT, I appreciate it!!!!!!!!!!! You guys rock! THANK YOU, MESI ANPIL!!!!!!!!!!
Ballad Creole is a program meant to educate and bridge the gap between Creole communities within the GTA and across southwest Ontario. The program aims also to enable people to understand the news affecting the Caribbean Creole population from an angle other than the main stream media of the west.
There are roughly 80.000 people in this geographic area that have roots in such places as Martinique, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Islands Mauritius and other Creole communities as well. The show is presented utilizing a balance of Creole and English.
Journalist Pierre Rigaus Charleus, host of the Ballade Creole (Creole Ballad),prior to graduating in Mass Communication at the State University of Haiti in 1994, has been already involved in Journalism at local radio stations such Radio Super Gemini and Dynamic FM in his Home Town Saint Marc, Haiti. Following His graduation, he worked at Magik Fm and the National Radio in Port au Prince, Haiti between 1998 through 2000. he moved to New Jersey in 2001 and worked as a volunteer at HSTV and Radio Verite. In 2008 He moved to Canada and joined Choq Fm to host Caraiboscopy, a radio talk show covering issues within the Caribbean Francophone.
Host: Pierre Rigaus Charleus