Live Chats Q & A


  1. What do I need to join the Live Chats? The Learn Haitian Creole with Gloria workbook and video downloads. Also, go on my (Gloria Guignard Board) Facebook profile to view the Live Chats.
  2. What if I ordered the materials within 3 weeks of the first Live Chat or after; can I still join? Absolutely! It takes 3 weeks from order to arrival for the workbooks. This is why Live Chats will remain on my Facebook profile for 3 weeks for people who need to catch up. Definitely message me on Facebook or email me at so that I can know that you need to catch up.
  3. What is the purpose of the Live Chats? A lot of people tell me that they purchased my program and or other kreyòl language programs with great enthusiasm but then when they go to Haiti, they use an interpreter and come back feeling less motivated. The Live Chats are a way to guide everyone through the Beginners program from beginning to end for one year. This gives accountability and basically no excuses for not completely Level I. It’s like getting a free guided tour with tutoring.
  4. What time are the Live Chats? 6:30pm CST, 7:30pm EST, 4:30pm PST, 5:30pm MST, 9:30am for Australia and 1am Western Europe.
  5. Will you skip any weeks? Yes, we will take 4-6 weeks off early summer for people traveling to Haiti and for the rest of us to take a breather, also for people needing to catch up for various reasons. Our last session is the Thursday before Thanksgiving 2020.
  6. What if I already know some kreyòl? If you have any gaps in the language, this is very good for you. You’re someone who can listen to the Live Chats while cooking or being busy doing something else and then when you hear a teaching that you did not know, you can pause and take it in and do the assignment for that week to help solidify the new information. If you are fluent in kreyòl, you do not need to join the Live Chats or purchase the materials at all.
  7. What if I have never been to Haiti or have never heard kreyòl? This is perfect for you! We are starting from scratch. I will literally focus on introducing the program and the language on the first week and show you how to use the resources, in general.
  8. What do I need to do before the first Live Chat? Absolutely nothing! I will give out the weekly assignments during the Live Chats. No prep work needed, just make sure you have the materials.
  9. What if I can get by on some kreyòl, have been to bootcamp, and/or did a few lessons in the workbook already? In the beginning, you may fit in with the person in my answer in number 6. However, there is a point you’ll reach where you will definitely need to start doing the assignments and chiming in on the Live Chats with questions.
  10. What if I consider myself an advanced learner? You may not need the Live Chats at all. However, I will post my weekly Haitian Poetry readings every Thursday on my personal profile on Facebook. This is the more complicated kreyòl that takes a lifetime to learn. I will include the translations but nothing will be in written format for advanced learners. I will recite the poem in kreyòl and then in English.
  11. What if I used to have the video downloads but no longer have access to them? Please shoot me a message on messenger or email so I can give you access. Access is only for one year on the site but I give everyone free access after the initial purchase. You’ll just need to send me a screenshot of your previous purchase.
  12. What if I don’t have enough storage for the video downloads? I always advise people to download them onto a flashdrive, especially if you’re in Haiti. That solves the problem.
  13. Will this be helpful to adopting families? Definitely! The first 3 lessons in the workbook focuses on language for arrival in Haiti and verbs for interacting with children.
  14. How long will the actual Live Chats be? I’m trying to keep them between 45 minutes and an hour so we can all have dinner! However, the length is dependent on your questions or any frustrations you had during the week. I will be answering those during the Live Chats. It is very important that we interact because if you let the frustration go on, you may be tempted to give up. I will not be able to keep up with questions on messenger or via email. Keeping all of the questions in the same place, helps me to keep up and is helpful to individuals who may have the same questions or frustrations.
  15. What if I miss a Live Chat? I will keep them on my facebook profile for 3 weeks for you to catch up. I would advise everyone, if possible, to keep up.
  16. What if I have the workbook but not the video downloads? The weekly assignments will be based on the workbook and the video downloads. I will not cover what is already in those materials but I will answer questions about people’s struggles during the week or what they need me to expand on. This helps us to use our time wisely and is the basis for the Live Chats. I want to see you through this program, together.
  17. What is the discount price for the workbook and video downloads for people doing the Live Chats? If you already have the workbook the downloads are at a half off discount of $75US. If you have neither, the cost is at a discount of $100US all payable to Email for group discounts and shipping (free shipping in North America) information.
  18. What teachings will you be adding to the Live Chats? Other than giving weekly workbook and video download assignments and answering questions based on those assignments, I will also give cultural tips and history on the language to help you understand certain word meanings, phrase structure, and the importance of body language.
  19. Can children benefit from the Live Chats? If they are using the Children Can Learn Haitian Creole with Emily, they may be too young. A parent should be there to guide them but, if they’re about 12 years old or older, it’s possible for them to keep up. Parents and Guardians can make that decision.
  20. Are we doing one lesson a week? Absolutely not. Language can’t be learned by lessons but by interaction and teachings. In other words, we will focus on a teaching focus for the week rather than trying to have you memorize the entire vocabulary list for one lesson in just one week. Most of you have full time jobs, families to care for, and work in Haiti to focus on. I want this to be as doable as possible. The first lesson will take about 3 weeks and the others at least 2 weeks. Consider that we are completing this 20 lesson program in approximately 46 weeks. This gives you a lot of time to allow the information to click and settle in.


That’s the end of the 20 Q & A’s for our 20 Live Chats in 2020! SO EXCITING!!! If you have anymore questions please go ahead and comment under this post on Facebook.

Interview with Delilah Dana Degryse

Who I am?

My name is Delilah Dana Degryse.  I’ve been involved with HSMS since 2017 and came down to live in Haiti in August 2018. I’m the English teacher in second and third grade at HSMS elementaryschool and founder of HSMS Music School. I was born in Haiti, but adoption brought me to Belgium, where I lived my whole life. 25 years later God send me back to serve my birth country for His name sake. I realized it was His plan to send me back so I could poor out to and be used for this community.



HSMS stands for Heart, Mind, Soul and strength and is based on Mark 12:30 ‘Love the Lord Your God with all your Heart and with all your Soul and with all your Mind and with all your Strength’. HSMS exists to be a change agent for future leaders in Haiti through education, discipleship, and community development.



Transforming the heart, soul, mind, and strength of Haiti’s children to lead the next generation. 


HSMS Music School

HSMS Music School is a nonprofit organization and grew out of HSMS Haiti, but stands now on its own. We are in need sponsors, intercessors, donations of music instruments, advisers, etc. We want to connect with people who have a heart for music and understand the power within music. The school has its base in Jeremy.

The vision of HSMS Haiti Music School is based on the Ephesians 5:19 ‘Encourage each another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.  Sing and make music in your hearts to the Lord.’

This school, founded by me (Dana Degryse), was inspired by a vision to see young people using instruments to express their heart and emotions from the inner depths of the soul. Especially in Haiti where emotions and trauma are brushed under the rug, music can prove to be expressive and healing. To see a child not only learn “how” to play, but learn the importance and the impact of music. We want that their music follows the rhythm of their and so be able to freely worship our Heavenly Father.

The power of music that has no limits. Music can reach places, where people, words and actions can’t. HSMS Haiti Music School wants to provide an excellent academic experience that is centered on a heart of worship. We want the children be able to come alive through music and meet God right where they’re at. Our biggest goal is to see the anointing of God on their music that will touch people’s hearts as they sing for His glory. Worship is a ministry on its own.

The Music School exist since fall 2018 and offers theoretical classes, worship classes, music craft classes, singing classes, piano classes, guitar classes, and drum classes. The children can choose their instrument and will learn how to master it.


Contact and info: /  /+509 40.32.2675

Haitian-Creole Bootcamps 2019

Please email for more information to schedule your own bootcamp!

















*POSSIBLE bootcamps in Europe this November (Netherlands, Germany, and Italy).

Holiday Discount

Save over $75 on the top selling Haitian-creole program for family, friends, and team members at the holiday discount price.

The Learn Haitian Creole with Gloria video downloads + workbook is on sale for $100. Join the thousands of people all over Europe, Australia, Canada, Mexico, South America, Israel, and in every state in the United States of America who are learning to speak kreyòl to communicate with loved ones and build relationships with the people of Haiti.

Send $100US to PayPal (add $25 for purchases outside of North America). Make sure that your PayPal email and shipping address is current. Write “HOLIDAY DISCOUNT” in the notes section. Your workbook and video download instructions will be shipped to you within 7-10 days.

Contact us at if you have any questions!

It IS a BIG deal

In August of 2007 I walked into the bathroom and cut off all of my shoulder-length hair without leaving even 1/2 an inch, using scissors. Why? My naturally beautiful then ten year old daughter made a comment that I would never forget:

“How can I love my hair when you don’t even know what yours looks like?”

Emily was not being disrespectful but instead she was speaking from pain, great pain. She had felt pain when the little straight-haired Snow White-like girl in front of her ran her fingers through her hair and tossed it into a bun and she realized she could not do the same. Her lovely curls, which at the time she struggled to love, felt more tangled to her than cork-screwed. She felt pain when she was overlooked by the boys for the straight blond-haired Cinderella-like girl in class, at church, at the grocery store, in the parking lot, and on the moon…anywhere, anyone one, anything with hair that was not like hers. She resorted to pulling up her luscious curls into a nest of a bun and cutting bangs, which she would sometimes straighten with a flatiron for some semblance of straight hair.

Why am I writing about this? My daughter is known for being an advocate for naturally curly hair in the past twelve years ( website is under construction). Yes, since her mother went to the bathroom and decided to discover and embrace a part of her identity that eluded her, she grew to love her hair. I did not choose to relax my hair when I was four years old with the mums and who knows, maybe I would have in later years like many other girls with hair like mine growing up in the 70’s. I had a Caucasian stepmother  who would say, “I don’t know what to do with this hair” and well-meaning, I hope, neighbors in the Bahamas with relaxed hair who would touch my hair and look on it with disdain while saying: “You need t’ do someting wit dis child’s hair!” Haitian hair was not much different than Bahamian hair, of course, and so a hairstylist sat me up on a lofty chair and gave me what even Farrah Fawcett would dream of: perfectly silky, straight, mid-back lengthed hair that had all the other Haitian and Bahamian girls at West End All Age School running to their manmans pleading for the same thing.

This hair came with a price. When there was no hot water to rinse out the relaxer on retouch days, something I had to do every two months, my scalp would burn, yes, literally burn and it felt like my scalp was on fire because guess what: it was! I remember running with my scalp burning to a neighbor’s house because they had boiled hot water for me to be able to rinse out my hair. At the age of nine my hair was cut to about a quarter of an inch because of so much scalp damage and again because someone didn’t know what to do with the hair. Ah Caribbean life! Soon I was sent to the United States of America, where if my hair could make it there it could make it anywhere…but alas, it did not! An aunt was confused by my hair texture – somewhat like hers and yet not. There was relaxer that survived the cut and although my hair had grown an entire twelve inches earning me the nickname Bondye Bay (God giveth) no one knew what to do with it. They were smart enough to realize that my hair type did not respond well to relaxers and I also developed an on again off again breakout of rashes on the nape of my neck after every retouch.

HOT COMB! That’s the thing! It’s 1982 and everyone knows that hot combs are safe and don’t do much damage to my kind of hair, besides aren’t all black or interracial hairs the same? Hmm… Needless to say, it took only a few comb-throughs and an increased smell of melted plastic to discover that my hair, which should have been like everyone else’s, was not responding like everyone else’s. In fact, it sizzled. The hair crumbled onto the hot comb, my shoulder, my lap, the ground, and then eventually where we always felt it belonged, oblivion. And then I was fifteen years old, and living with my teenage-siblings. I continued to believe the lie that my hair was not good enough, it had to lay down and obey the laws of beauty. I found the relaxer that was gentle...ah, only another lie. If I colored it, again, I had to cut it all off again which I did at the age of sixteen when hair was the only commodity. Then I became a wife. A mother. A responsible, secure adult. Another try at the hair color with the relaxer combo and I had to have it buzzed off as though I was headed out to the army.

And then I had one of my closest friends, Nicole Parham, tell me how to care for my daughter’s hair. Nicole and I were hair buddies. She had huge curly natural hair that she  relaxed on occasion because she too had bit on the lie, the lie that tasted like a big bar of chocolate to everyone else but was really just a bark of crap…oh, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t say that. Hmm… Nicole, in truth, was the most beautiful person I had ever seen. She was also a Caribbean girl and every time she got her hair relaxed with me, I always hated it because I recognized how beautiful her natural hair was. But alas, there was no movement. Yes, we needed a movement. We needed a handful of people to declare that natural hair is not ugly. We don’t have to make excuses for natural hair anymore. We don’t have to feel embarrassed when we walk out into the streets with it. And this almost makes me want to cry but we can still be considered beautiful for leaving it the way it is…ah, yes, we are actually beautiful with natural hair. If my feelings seem exaggerated, watch the documentary Good Hair and then jump a few years into my time-zone and watch the Netflix movie Nappily Ever After.

Am I vain? No, but I am a pretty darn secure woman, except for the recent 20lbs I just put on from a winter from…well, hell doesn’t quite work here but, you know what I mean. I also believe in championing other women as I saw other Haitian women doing to one another growing up. I do regret that no one was championing me. That would have been nice and that would have let me know that maybe, just maybe, I was known and I didn’t have to keep relaxing, blow-drying, or hair-rolling my hair into acceptance. I’m just not good at lying since I’ve grew up. I have to speak the truth. I know this may make some people feel uncomfortable, but when I told my daughter that I’m so glad she would never put chemicals on her hair and she spoke that infamous line to me I suddenly felt liberated. The one whose opinion mattered most to me on this issue, at that time, gave me permission to drop off the shackles of bondage and to set this hair free. I didn’t know what it would look like but I was determined to love it. I didn’t know if it would remain an afro for another three years (the first 3 years were the hardest) but I knew that it was mine. I didn’t know if people would eventually stop looking at me as if I had three eyes or something but I did know that I recognized myself in the mirror. I didn’t know if it would be wavy, cork-screwed, or kinky but I knew that I didn’t ever need to go to a hair salon or should I say saloon, for the rest of my life! I didn’t even know if it would look like my daughter’s, or my mother’s, whom I never knew growing up anyway, or my son’s, but deep down I knew that I would love it! I loved it wet! I loved it dry! I loved it at 3 inches. I love it now on my back. I love it! That’s not prideful or arrogant. That’s good old healthy loving the me that God made and no one is currently able to reinvent.

So why is a woman who is determined to help people understand the importance of learning the kreyòl language to relate to a Haitian writing about hair? A Haitian child should be accepted for not only her skin color, her language, or her figure, but also her H A I R.  No one should weave it into hiding. Bun it into obscurity. Relax it to death. Or press/flatiron it into oblivion. I know this will upset many people but maybe the same people who understand that a Haitian’s identity is greatly wrapped in their community, family, church, and LANGUAGE, can possibly understand the importance of them not feeling like there is this one part of them that is offensive, not good enough, must be ruled, and will never be good enough…possibly. This is just my feeble attempt to say that when a child is brought into a home where they are the one who stands out as looking different, it is so necessary that they feel everyday that every feature they possess is the fairest in the land.


The End

Mwen, Pitit Lamizè

Mwen, Pitit lamizè

Mwen, pitit lasoufrans

I’m a child of poverty

I am a child of suffering

Mwen, restavèk

Domestik, tyoul

I’m a child-servant

A domestic an errand boy

Si li konnen

Anba-anba m’ape rete

And does she know

I’m down in the pits

Pou lèzòt maltrete-m

Pou lèzòt meprize-m

Where others abuse me

Where others despise me

Anba-anba m’ape rete

Pou lèzòt pilonnen-m

I’m down in the pits

Where others walk all over me



Dirtying me up

Roughing me up

Di li

Tanpri di li pou mwen

Tell her

Please tell her for me

Li mèt ale

M’a pa fout bezen-l ankò

She should stay away

I sure as heck don’t need her anymore

Poem by

Jan-Mari Wilè Deni

Jean-Marie Willer Denis

Art by

Chevelin Pierre

Soup Joumou Recipe

On January 1st, 1804, Haiti became the first black independent nation. What many people do not know is that while the Spanish brought dogs to attack the indigenous people into submission (causing lasting enmity between dog and man in Haiti) the French did not permit the slaves to eat what they felt were delicacies such as the pumpkins that the slaves grew and harvested.

So, every January 1st the matriarch of most Haitian families will host a celebration in her home for every family member able to attend. The adults spend the entire day and evening cooking and talking and telling stories of long ago while the children play and listen to the retelling of how we won our freedom and can now eat conch, pumpkins, squash, and other things from the land that we were once forbidden to eat.

Special Note for Adopting Families or People Married to Haitians:

While recipes are passed down from generation to generation from cooking together, I decided to write my recipe down tonight as I prepared it for my family. I hope you are able to start the tradition with your Haitian spouse and or Haitian children.


First, rinse 2lbs of stew beef with vinegar and then season it by pounding these ingredients with a pestle and mortar and then marinate it with the epis (spices in the mortar) overnight, if possible- a handful of parsley, a few sprigs of thyme, 1 head of garlic, 1/4 stalk of scallion, a quarter of a green bell pepper, and half an onion. Pound everything until it’s fine and forms a sauce.

I boil my leftover ham hocks from Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner for about three hours in just enough water to cover the bones. Don’t add too much water or the squash taste will have little effect. Then I add the stew meat with maybe one beef shank if the ham hock didn’t make a strong enough broth. Taste everything while you cook to make the best seasoning decisions. I boil the stew in the ham hock broth on medium-high for about an hour.

I prefer one butternut squash because it compliments the ham hock’s sweetness and makes a pretty amazing soup joumou. You can use pumpkin instead though. Let this cook for another thirty minutes. Then you may scoop out the chunks of squash and blend them but because it’s the only starch I use in my recipe, I don’t blend all of them because I want to have a semi-thick consistency. You may add 3 large potatoes and a bag of Rigatoni pasta as I was taught when I was little. Again, I don’t, because that’s just too much starch for me. I also add a couple of MSG-free bouillon cubes from Whole Foods although Magi works BEST it’s a bad idea because of all the salt…(high blood pressure maker)😳.

Then add these cut vegetables: 1/2 stalk of celery, 3 carrots, 1/4 cabbage, 2 cups of onions, a few cloves, one teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and a handful of parsley, thyme, and one habanero to float and give it some heat. Don’t eat that though! You can throw in some garlic or onion powder and seasoned salt but I prefer the fresh version with sea-salt and black pepper to taste. Some people also add turnips and leek, but I don’t. I also stay away from oil or butter. We didn’t use that when I was little and I find it unnecessary.

Tip: Notice I use baby carrots and sometimes I use already-cut squash because my hands hurt from all the cutting. This is why the seasoning matters so much. You want to taste constantly as you cook because produce quality and ripeness can be unreliable. If the liquid doesn’t seem adequate, add a cup of water for every bouillon cube.

My secret: I add fresh squeezed lime juice from four limes and a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar. That’s actually a big secret of mine for most of my broths😁

If I make a few batches, I add the potatoes and pasta for my husband’s lunches during the week since it is very filling of course add the bouillon cube to water ratio to keep it soupy😉.