I Might Be In Love

With Wildor. Just the sight of this kid makes my heart leap. He is an uncle to Etine and Tabita. I’m not sure who his parents are, exactly. He lives with this family. So he is a “restavèk”. In many Haitian families, especially in the cities, restavèk is synonymous with child slave. His status is certainly lower than that of Etine and Tabita—he has only one change of clothes, and he does a lot more work. When they dress up and go to church, he doesn’t go with them. But he’s also respected and cared for, and he eats as well as they do.

He can do anything. He cares for the animals, makes rope, makes kites, carries water, finds firewood, makes toys out of garbage. His school notebooks are full of drawings. He never walks, rather trots, or more likely dances from one place to the next. He can’t tell a story without acting out all the parts. For instance the tractor that came and made the road: a truck with chain connecting all the tires and a shovel on the front that ate the dirt, ate the dirt, ate the dirt! In telling the tale he transformed himself into a machine that did just that.