2019 Haitian-Creole Bootcamps


We’re so thankful for the amazing time we’ve shared the past few months with all of our friends in Canada and Oregon, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Texas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Tennessee, Washington, Washington DC, Virginia, North Carolina, California, Michigan, Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Kentucky, Utah, Ohio, Montana, South Dakota, Mississippi, South Carolina, New Jersey, Indiana, Miami, Iowa, and Haiti! Thank you so much for making our past Creole Bootcamps warm and fun! Our family loved exploring various parts of the United States and getting to meet friends and going beyond the Facebook images and status posts. I know we’ll have more opportunities to connect, in real life again, in the future!


2019 Summer and Fall Haitian-Creole Bootcamps are already forming and if you’re interested in hosting one with friends, team members, or with the members of the adoption agencies in your state please email haitiangloria@yahoo.com for more information. In a nutshell, the bootcamps help to jumpstart a beginner or boost the creole of someone who is already in the process of learning the language. Dates and times are up to the individual who decides to coordinate on their end. Coordinators are responsible to find a location and help co-host the Facebook Events Page.











26th-27th MINNESOTA



24th-25th VINTON, IOWA 







* If your organization would like to host a bootcamp, in any country, just shoot us a message so we can see if that’s possible.


The photo above is of the creole bootcamp students from Living Word Lutheran High School in Wisconsin who went to Haiti and used the creole they learned to communicate with children. They also played one of the games we taught them called Tonton Bouki! Thank you for understanding the importance of learning the language of a people you love, respect, and want to build relationship with. Thank you all for the honor and privilege of allowing us to be a part of your journey.

Local Creole Bootcamp Details

2017-09-16 14.12.34.jpgAfter several people expressed the difficulties of coming to Haiti for a bootcamp my husband and I felt that this is definitely a need and something God wants me to do in this season however, my biggest fear was that three days of intense creole lessons wouldn’t be enough to help launch or boost folks on their journey to learning creole. We just had our first US bootcamp in Oregon last month and the feedback was amazing. People are continuing to learn with the videos and by communicating with friends in Haiti, proving that the bootcamp did provide that necessary boost. Many took time off from work, drove over two hours to a small town, and sacrificed to make it work. I love how important this is to you all and many of you know how important this is to me. For those living in Haiti, the final bootcamp will be in Carrefour, Haiti hosted by Crystal Funk of Hearts United with Haiti.

2017-09-07 19.39.17-1My biggest struggle has been the messages of, “I don’t want to miss this opportunity but I can’t make it because we’re on vacation that weekend” or “Can you do a bootcamp for just our family?” So,  I will also do my best to schedule “en route” bootcamps when I travel by car. For example, on my way to Minnesota this month I can stop by Iowa to visit with families and small teams to do a small bootcamp as we’re also doing in Kansas City and Springfield next week on the way to and from the larger bootcamps in Tulsa and Owasso Oklahoma.

I know I keep saying this but it’s not lost on me the sacrifice that you are all making by taking the time to commit to learning a language that will allow you to understand and love a people that God has placed in your hearts. And lately I am so impressed with how adopting families are connecting with the beauty of incorporating creole as a part of their entire family’s culture. It’s not about being fluent but mostly about being intentional.

I am also sorry that my daughter, Emily, is not available to teach the children at all of the bootcamps. I know that many of you and now your children have taken lessons from her over the past six years, as she began teaching creole before me. She is now a junior in college and has committed to doing the bootcamps during fall and winter recess. The schedule below is of the upcoming bootcamps and indicates the ones Emily will be teaching at. For more details email me at haitiangloria@yahoo.com.

1- Kansas City, August 11th-13th

2- Tulsa, Oklahoma August 14th-16th

3- Owasso, Oklahoma August 17th-19th

4- Springfield, Missouri August 20th-21st

5- Willernie, Minnesota August 24th-26th

6- Dallas, Texas August 31st-September 2nd

7- D.C./Haymarket September 7th-9th

8- Mowrystown, Ohio September 14th-16th

9- Michigan, September 28th-30th

10- Colorado, October 12th-14th

11- Indianapolis, Indiana November 17th-19th

12- Nashville, Tennessee December 7th-9th

13- Phoenix, Arizona December 14th-16th, with Emily Michael teaching the children for free with her Children Can Learn Creole with Emily program that is being released this week!

14- Weatherford, Texas January 4th-6th, with Emily Michael teaching the children for free with her Children Can Learn Creole with Emily program that is being released this week!

15- Wilmington, North Carolina February 8th-10th

16- Carrefour, Haiti March 5th-11th

17- Alberta/Edmonton, Canada October 19th-21st, with Emily Michael teaching the children for free with her Children Can Learn Creole with Emily program that is being released this week!
Possible upcoming bootcamps: Toronto & British Columbia, Canada, San Antonio & Houston, Texas, Seattle Washington, and Wisconsin. While there is interest in these locations we need coordinators and to assess interest.

* If your organization would like to host a bootcamp, in any country, just shoot me a message so we can see if that’s possible. I am not scheduling any creole bootcamps after the one in Carrefour as I don’t know if I’m supposed to go past these commitments.

Haitian-Creole Expressions 

Listed in alphabetical order…
A demen- Until tomorrow.

A pi ta- See you later.

AN FÒM-M an fòm- I’m fine. I’m in ship shape.
Ann konmanse- Let’s begin.
Atansyon!- Attention!/Watch out!
BAY VAG- forget it/give up (annoying response when someone doesn’t want to do something).
Ban m zorey mwen- Give me my ears. Meaning: Be quiet.
Bon bagay- Good stuff.
Bòn chans- Good luck.
Jwaye Nowèl e Bònn Ane- Merry Christmas and happy New Year.
Ki te’m anrepo’m!- Leave me alone!
Kisa ki rive ou?- What happened to you?
M ap boule- I’m boiling. Meaning: “I’m fine” in response to “how are you.”
M ap viv- I’m living. Meaning: “I’m alive” in response to “How are you.”
M gen domi nan ze m- I have sleep in my eyes. Meaning: I’m sleepy.
M’kontan fè konesans ou- Pleased to meet you.
N a wè pi ta. We’ll see each other later.
POKO TOUCHE-M poko touche, non- I haven’t gotten paid yet.
Pase yon bònn jounen- Have a nice day.

Prese prese!- Hurry!

SAK AP FÈT? – What’s up? What’s happenin’?
Sa fè lontan- Long time no see.
Sa ou genyen?- What do you have? Meaning: What’s up with you? (if someone looks bothered)
Tout bagay anfom?- Is everything OK?
TÈT CHAJE- (n) disarray, trouble, (expletive) drama! The closest English expression I can find is DRAMA. When we’re saying something is like “drama”! Overwhelming craziness!
TÈT CHO- hot head Apparently…I was looking pretty cute. Tidma (my friend’s mom) said: “Wap fè tèt Jan (my husband, John) cho!”Can you guess what that expression means in THIS context?
Wap konn joj- You know/ you will know George. Meaning: You will “meet” the consequences for what you are doing. Joj is the name of a hurricane that hit Haiti in 2001 and that’s where this expression comes from.
ZE KLÈ-Ze m klè -This EXPRESSION is like saying: I’m aware/alert to things.

Haitian Proverbs 

I’ll keep adding these in alphabetical order. Let me know some you’d like me to add on here. 

Achte, peye; prete, remèt. Men sa ki fè yon nonm.

Buy, pay; borrow, return. This is what makes a man.

Meaning: Characteristics of honesty.


“Years don’t kill you, and it’s not days that’s killing you.”

Waiting ain’t gonna kill ya!
Avan ou monte bwa, gade si ou ka desann li. 

Before you climb a tree, look to see if you can climb down.

Meaning: Make sure you know what you’re getting into.

Bel dan pa di zanmi.

Beautiful teeth don’t say friend. 

Meaning: Just because someone is smiling at you doesn’t mean they’re your friend.
Bitay fè ou vanse.

A stumble moves you forward.

Meaning: We learn from our mistakes. A mistake is better than doing nothing.
Bondye Bon.

God is good.
“Bonjou” se paspo ou.

“Goodmorning” is your passport.

Meaning: How you act. Politeness goes a long way.
Bouch pale sa jieux woue.

The mouth speaks what the eyes see.

Meaning: It means that one only speaks base on the observation around him or her.
Bourik chaje pa kanpe.

A loaded donkey doesn’t stand still.

Meaning: No rest for the busy.
Bwè dlo nan vè, respekte vè.

Drink water from the glass, respect the glass.

Meaning: Respect those who have helped you.
Byen prè pa lakay.

Close is not home.

Meaning: Almost is not as good as arriving.
Byen san swe pa profite.

Possessions without sweat don’t profit.

Meaning: People do not appreciate things they have not earned.
Bèl fanm, bèl malè.

A beautiful woman means trouble.
Chen ki gen zo nan bouch li pa gen zanmi.

The dog who has a bone in his mouth, has no friends. Meaning: Those who are rich or greedy keeps them from having friends.
Chita pa bay.

Sitting does not yield.

Meaning: Sitting around won’t get you anywhere.


“To the rear of mountains there are yet more mountains.”

You may think you’re a big shot but there are others who are greater still. 

Other translation: After one sorrow, more sorrows. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. There’s more than meets the eye. (A proverb of both patience and the recognition of how difficult life in Haiti is.)

Di m kisa our renmen, ma di ou ki moun ou ye.

Tell me what you love, and I’ll tell you who you are.

Meaning: What you are interested in says a lot about who you are.

Fanm pou yon tan, manman pou tout tan.

Wife for a time, mother for all time.
Fe respe ou; m’a fe pa m’.

Show your respect; I’ll show mine.

Meaning: Respect must be mutual.
Fòse moun fè sa yo pa vle fè se tankou esye plen lanmè ak wòch.

Forcing people to do what they don’t want to do is like trying to fill the ocean with rocks.

Meaning: You can’t force people to go against their will.
Gason konn bouke, men pa fanm.

Men get tired, but not women.

Meaning: Woman’s work never ends.
Jieux we bouch pe.

The English equivalent to this proverb will be “you see nothing you know nothing.”

Meaning: if you witness something you’re not supposed to you are ought to remain silence or else.
Kay koule twonpe solèy, men li pa twonpe lapli.               

A leaky roof fools the sun but it doesn’t fool the rain. Meaning: One’s faults will be exposed sooner or later.

Kouri lapli, tonbe larivyè.

Running from rain, you fall into a river.

Meaning: In avoiding one thing, we fall into something worse.
Kreyol pale, kreyol konprann.

Creole Spoke is creole understood.

Meaning: Speak plainly, don’t try to deceive.
Lespwa fe viv.

Hope gives life. 

Meaning: Hope gives all the strength to carry on.
Machandiz ofri pa gen pri.

Merchandise offered has no price.

Meaning: Everything is negotiable.
Malere pa dezone.

Poverty is not dishonor.

Meaning: You can’t be blamed for your situation. It’s your character and actions that matter.
Mande chemen pa di pèdi pou sa.

Asking the way doesn’t mean one is lost.

Meaning: Asking for advice is not shameful.
Manje kwit pa gen met.

Cooked food has no owner.

Meaning: Once cooked, food belongs to everyone.
Manman pa janm mode pitit li jouk nan zo.

A mother never bites her child to the bone.

Meaning: The equivalent of this proverb in the English language would be “there is nothing like a mother”. In Haiti, this proverb is used to show or recall the goodness of a mother to her children. Even when she is inflicting the worst punishment on her children she is not doing it out of hate or to deliberately hurt her progenies but to discipline them.
Manti met kouri jan l’ kouri; laverite ap kenbe l’.               

A lie may run as it may but the truth will catch it.

Meaning: The truth will be known.
Mapou mouri, kabrit manje fey li.

When the mapou (oak-like tree) dies, goats would eat its leaves.

Meaning: This proverb is said in Creole to recall the scene of old age. It is also said to compare the prime and the declining days as well as abundance and poverty. If a youngster has been disrespectful to an old man mapou who is past his prime, that proverb would be an appropriate remark.

Note: the mapou has a special meaning in Haitian culture. It is a sacred tree for the believers of Voodoo.

Met do pa grate do.

The owner of the back doesn’t scratch his own back.

Meaning: You always need someone to help you.
Milat pòv se nèg, nèg rich se milat.

A poor mulatto is black, a wealthy black is mulatto.

Meaning: Money is everything.
Moun ki kenbe kiye bwa se li ki konnen si li cho. 

The person who holds the wooden spoon is the one who knows if it’s hot.

Meaning: Don’t question first hand knowledge. Difficult times reveal a person’s true character.
Nan tan grangou patat pa gen po.

In times of famine, sweet potatoes have no skin.

Meaning: This is a proverb said in times of disaster or great calamity. It means that when one is starving to death, they will eat anything; thus “patat pa gen po”: even the skin of a potato would be eaten.
Nen pran kou; je kouri dlo.

The nose takes the blow; the eyes run with water.

Meaning: When misfortune strikes one member of the family, the others also suffer.
Nèg di san fè, Bondye fè san di.

Man talks, God acts.
Ou konn kouri, ou pa konn kache.

You know how to run, but you don’t know how to hide.

Meaning: It is said of someone who leaves a bad impression behind him after a bad deed or a crime.
Ou vle tout, out pèdi tout.

You want all, you lose all.

Meaning: Greed will be your downfall.
Pa janm mete chat veye bè.

Never put a cat to watch over the butter.

Meaning: Don’t ask a person to watch over something he may want.
Pal franse pa di lespri pou sa.

To speak French doesn’t mean you are smart.

Meaning For most Haitians French is a foreign language; a language for “putting on airs.” Thus the point here is: Fancy talk doesn’t mean one has the brains to go with it.
Pale franse pa di lespri pou sa.

Speaking French doesn’t mean you are smart.

Meaning: Fancy talk doesn’t mean brains.
Piti piti zwazo fè nich li.

Little by little the bird builds its nest.

Meaning: Everything takes time.
Pitit se rìches malere.

Children are the wealth of the poor.

Meaning: Ones hopes and riches lie in the future of ones children.
Pitit tig, se tig.

“The tiger’s cub can be dangerous too.” (Jean-Claude Duvalier, 1975)

Meaning: One’s behavior is only a reffelction of those who breed it.
Pou fe kob la fe mwa a, lave li, bwe dlo li.

In order to make the money last the month, wash it and drink its water. 

Meaning: Stretch the money to make it last.
Pye chat dous men zong li move.

The cat’s foot is soft but its claws are mean.

Meaning: A warning when things appear better than they are.
Ravet pa janm gen rezon douvan poul.

Roaches are never right when facing chickens (Chickens would pursue any roach in sight.)

Meaning: Whenever there are disagreements between two parties, Justice will always be on the side with the stronger one of them.
Sa ki pa bon pou makout, li pa bon pou ralfo nanplis.

What’s not good for the big sack, it’s not good for the little sack either.

Meaning: Don’t give to the poor what you wouldn’t want for yourself.
Sa nou bay pòv se Bondye nou prete l.

What we give to the poor we lend to God.

Meaning: A good deed never goes unblessed.
Sak vid pa kanpe.

Empty stomachs don’t stand.

Meaning: No work gets done on an empty stomach. You get out what you put in.
Santi bon koute chè.

Smelling good is expensive.

Meaning: A big front doesn’t come cheaply.
Se an jouet yo abillei jwif.

It is also by joking around one takes the opportunity to speak his or her mind out.

Meaning: Sometimes a person wants to find a way to speak his or her mind out to another. That opportunity may come for instance when everyone is in a group joking and laughing around. There he or she would speak his or her mind of to the other without the other realizing the real meaning of the message.
Se apre batay ou konte blese.

It’s after the battle that you count the wounded.

Meaning: Don’t give up until the end.
Se bon ke krapo ki fe l san tet.

It is because the toad is too tenderhearted that he has no intelligence. Meaning: Said of a person who goes to someone’s help and becomes victim of the helped. Said of someone who was formerly very rich and who becomes poor because he is too tenderhearted and gave his whole fortune away.
Se gou bouyon ki mete lang deyò.

 It is the taste of the broth that brings out the tongue.

Meaning: Good food leads to good conversation.
Se nan chimen jennen yo kenbe chwal malen.

If you want to catch a wild horse, find a tight corral.

Meaning: One says that about a person who usually escapes embarrassment but who will eventually fall into a more elaborate trap.
Se pa ou ki di ou verite.

It is your own who tells you the truth.

Meaning: Others will flatter you, but those who love you will tell you the truth.
Se sou chemiz blanch yo wè tach.

It’s on the white shirt that a stain is seen.

Meaning: Those of the best reputation are the most susceptible to scandal.
Se tè ki bat ki bwe lapli.

It’s plowed earth that drinks the rain.

Meaning: You must be prepared for opportunity.
Sel pa vante tet li di li sale.

Salt doesn’t boast that it is salted.

Meaning: Similar in meaning to the French saying “A bon vin, point d’enseigne” (good wine needs no advertising). Let others say how good you are. Said to ridicule someone who speaks highly of himself, who praises himself.
Si bèf te konn fòs yo, majoral pa ta lanse yo.

If cows knew their strength, they would not be butchered.

Meaning: You are stronger than you realize. You have more power than you have been led to believe.
Sonje lapli ki leve mayi ou.

Remember the rain that made your corn grow.

Meaning: One says that to remind someone that he must show gratitude to God or to someone who did him good.
Tanbou prete pa janm fe bon dans.

A borrowed drum never makes good dancing.

Meaning: Said when one uses something borrowed and before finishing with it the owner comes to take it. Usually one is not comfortable with a borrowed object.
Tande pa di konprann pou sa.

Hearing is one thing, understanding is another.
Ti chen gen fos devan kay met li.

A little dog is really brave in front of his master’s house.

Meaning: The meaning of this proverb is that a weak person doesn’t attack away from his home but will defend himself as a lion against everybody in his territory. Also said of poltrons and weak persons who will become lions in defending their interests or when they have the backup of someone stronger.
Ti moun fwonte grandi devan baron.

An impudent child grows up under Baron’s eyes( Baron Samdi is the guardian of the cemetery in the Voodoo religion.)

Meaning: Said of an impudent, insolent child, meaning that they won’t live long enough because of their insolence.
Tout kod gen de bout.

Every rope has two ends.

Meaning: Every dispute has two sides.
Tout moun konnen sa: Le mal egzist.

Everyone knows this: evil exists.
Tout moun se moun.

Everyone deserves to be treated as a human being.
Tout sa ki klere pa lò.

Everything that shines isn’t gold.

Meaning: Looks can be deceiving.
Toute anmerdan gen ti nat yo.

Every pest has its resting place.

Meaning: If one enjoys bothering others one day he or she will get it.
Wè sa m fè; pa fè sa m fè.

See what I do; don’t do what I do.

Meaning: Do as I say not as I do. Don’t follow my example.
Zwazo pose sou tout branch.

Birds land on all branches.

Meaning: Your turn will come.

le gen lanmou, gen doule. Where there is love, there is pain.

Haitian Idioms 

2017-09-16 13.48.49.jpggate san (used as a transitive verb)

literally: spoil blood

meaning: upset

Ou ap gate san’m.

You’re upsetting me.
Sou de chèz (used as adverb)

Literally: on two chairs

meaning: thoroughly, in depth, in great details, quickly

M’ap ba ou li sou de chèz.

I’ll give it to you in great details.
Chape poul (used as verb)

Literally: to escape one’s chicken

meaning: to escape, to run away, to flee

Li te chape poul li.

He ran away.
al bwa chat ( used as inrtansitive verb)

Literally: go wood cat

Meaning: to die.

L’al bwa chat. or (l’al bwachat)

He died.
Ale nan peyi san chapo (used as intransitive verb)

Literally: go in country without hat

meaning: to die.

Li ale nan peyi san chapo.

He died.
achte figi (used as transitive verb)

Literally: to buy one’s face

meaning: to flatter someone

Mwen p’ap achte figi’w.

I will not flatter you.
met dlo nan diven (used as verb)

Literally: put water in wine

Meaning: calm down, simmer down, relax

Si’w pa met dlo nan diven’w, wa di bagay ou pa dwe di.

If you don’t calm down, you’ll say things you’re not supposed to say.
pran nan twa wa (used as intransitive verb)

literally: take in three kings

meaning: to be in trouble, to be stuck, to be in a jam

Mwen pran nan twa wa.

I’m in a jam.
pran fil (used as intransitive verb)

literally: take thread

meaning: to succeed, to become popular, to flourish

Biznis li a pran fil.

Her business is flourishing.
rache zèb anba pye (used as transitive verb)

literally: cut grass under someone’s feet

meaning: prevent someone from succeeding

Fè atansyon ak Fito, se zèb l’ap koupe anba pye’w.

Be careful of Fito, he’s trying to make you fail.
tet nèg (used as adjective)

literally: head of man

meaning: expensive

Mont sa koute tèt nèg.

This watch is expensive.
W ap konn Joj.

You will know George.

Meaning: You’ll get what’s coming to you.
W ap voye fle.

You’re throwing flowers.

Meaning: Talking nonsense/Being silly
M ap degaje mwen kon met Jean-Jacques.

I will handle myself like Jean-Jacques.

Meaning: I will find a way to handle this situation.
Ti Mari p ap monte, Ti Mari p ap desann.

Little Mary will not go up, Little Mary will not go down.

Meaning: Things will not change.
Abraham di setase.

Abraham says that’s enough.

Meaning: Enough is enough!
Pwoblem p ap fini.

Problems will not end.

Meaning: When it rains, it pours.
Ban m zorey mwen.

Give me my ear.

Meaning: Be quiet!
Yon vyewo li ye, wi.

He’s (or she’s) an old man (or woman).

Meaning: He’s a know-it-all/He’s experienced.

A word used to describe someone you would describe as ugly.

Used as an affirmative: Yes, true, indeed

Confusing Haitian-Creole Terms 

2017-09-16 13.54.18
Dòmi nan zye m – Sleep is in my eyes… I’M SLEEPY!


Bò bounda – buttock (side of rear)

Bò kòt – alongside

Bò kote – beside/next to, by, towards

Bò lanmè – seashore

Bò rivyè – bank (by the river)


brighten, bright, beautiful, radiant.

DEPLASE- to move from current address

FÈY- leaves (spinach, tea leaves, greens; etc).

M bezwen manje plis fèy m fè animi.

I need to eat more greens. I’m anemic.


GADE: to look, look at, to watch

CHÈCHE: to look for, to fetch

SANBLE: looks like, look alike, resemble


ISIT- here/general vicinity

ISIT LA- right here/present

KE vs KI vs SA-

KE- that: when it is not the subject, SA or definite article, SA

I think THAT you want to see me – M panse ke w vle wè m

KI- what: when followed by subject

What food- KI manje

SA- that: as subject and definite article

M pa vle sa- I don’t want that

Tifi sa- that little girl


KITE- leave, to let/allow

KITE sa- leave that

KENBE sa- hold onto that

KITE L ALE- let her go

ANN ALE- let’s go


MADANM- wife, lady

MADAM- Mrs, ma’am (French)

MANKE- to miss By ALMOST not doing something.

Mwen MANKE fwape w- I almost hit you

Mwen SONJE W- I remember (miss) you


(menm also means SAME).


NÈF- brand new

A brand new, unused item.

NOUVOU- new to you

A used car isn’t brand new but it’s “your” new car.

NI- either, nor, neither

OUVRI vs DEBOUCHE and WETE/RETIRE- can all be used for taking a lid off a jar.

Ouvri- open

Retire- remove

Debouche- uncover

PITO- (rather) can also mean instead.

Banm sa pito. – Give me that instead/rather

SANTI – feel like

This feels better- sa a pi byen (no need to say FEELS here)

Li pi bon- it’s better