Getting to Know Our Translators
Inside the guest house and among English speaking team members, it is easy to forget that lack of common language can be an insurmountable barrier. Outside that bubble, though, the language barrier quickly drives any attempt at meaningful communication into wild gesticulations. Judney and Juneas Joseph step into this gap, crossing the barrier. In the process they provide greater opportunity for cross-cultural communication and understanding. They are vital, invaluable and deeply appreciated members of each team.
Juneas and Judney learned to speak English while living in the US during their high school years. They have been translating for Lifeline for about two years. They travel from their hometown of Cap-Haitian, six hours north of Port au Prince, to translate for the Lifeline teams. They usually work together on the medical teams and come individually for the smaller teams. For this edition of the newsletter, we interviewed Judney. Stay tuned for next time to meet Juneas.
I met Judney on our first trip to Haiti. We had just arrived at Lifeline and I was processing the sights and sounds of our drive from the airport. Several children waited on the front porch to greet their adoptive parents, and amidst the flurry of joyful greetings, I stood by, unsure of what to do. It was then that Judney approached and introduced himself. I donâ€™t remember the details of our conversation, but I remember his kind and welcoming demeanor.
Seeing Judney flash that winning smile is definitely a treat and I know I have given him a few laughs as Iâ€™ve bumbled along in my attempts to speak Creole. He is always extremely gracious and patient.
It is surprising that with the small amount of English the children at Lifeline speak, a lot of communication still happens. Sometimes, though, trying to understand each other can be like a game of Mad Gabs, while each of us tries to communicate in the otherâ€™s language with misplaced syllable accents, wrong pronunciation, and an unpracticed tongue. It can lead to some truly comical moments. One day, a young boy from the school came to me and repeated a phrase several times. I repeated it back to him, but still had no idea what he was trying to say. I finally went to Judney and told him, â€œHe keeps saying, â€œAh pod som SUNG.â€ Judney told me, â€œI pod.â€œ I still didnâ€™t get it. â€œHeâ€™s saying he wants an iPod. Samsung,â€ Judney repeated. Ooooh! Feeling a bit stupid, since the boy was saying exactly that, I returned to disappoint him with my lack of an iPod.
Along with translating, Judney enjoys mixing it up with the teams on the basketball court and soccer field. And, he makes a great partner for an early morning workout as well.
He graciously answered a few q90uestions for us.
What do you enjoy most about being the Lifeline translator?
The fact that God gave me an opportunity to be a part of a great ministry.
Is there something you think would be valuable for the teams to know when travelling to Haiti?
Haiti is a small, beautiful island with a big history.
Do you have a favorite or funny memory of something that has happened with one of the Lifeline teams?
There are many memories and funny moments with each team. I enjoyed all of them!
What are your plans for furthering your education in the future?
My future plan in education is to get to a college and have a degree in Business Administration.
What do you hope to do in the future?
If God allows me to complete my educational goals, I would then obtain employment and prepare myself financially, socially, and mentally to build a family based on the teaching of the word of God.
How many brothers and sisters do you have? Are you the oldest?
I have three brothers and one sister. Iâ€™m the second oldest.
What is your favorite food?
My favorite food is a Haitian dish called Griot- it consist of fried plantains with goat and spicy coleslaw.
What is your favorite thing to drink?
Blended Juice (papaya, mango, bread fruit), passion fruit, Fruit Champagne.
What is your favorite sport?
What is your favorite thing to do?
Play pickup basketball game, video game (ps3) and study the Bible.
What is your favorite kind of car?
Bentley, Mercedes Benz, Cadillac Escalade
Do you have a favorite Bible verse or passage that you find encouragement from?
James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, â€œMy grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.â€ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For, when I am weak, then I am strong.
Finally, for those who have seen you doing those early morning workouts, how many push-ups can you do at one time? Pull-ups?
As for now I can do approximately 40 push-ups and 20 pull-ups.