Gourdes = Haitian money.
30 gourdes = $0.73
The image of Haitian currency reminds me of Roxane Gay’s story “You Never Knew How the Waters Ran So Cruel So Deep” in her collection Ayiti.
In the story, the main character identifies himself in logistical manner and attaches himself to a monetary value. The format of the story is in a chart form and has a very straightforward and informative quality to it, as the narrator pens in the steps included in his journey to the United States. The narrator includes the cost, oftentimes in Haitian Gourdes, of his boat passages or secret truck rides which reduces his life to a monetary value that denotes his worth as a man found between two cultures: Haiti and America.
The narrator includes measurements of money in the form of Haitian Gourdes as well as in American dollars; this only perpetuates the notion that he is caught between cultures and therefore his identity lies upon the material goods and the money held to his name.
I think that this story is an interesting commentary on the struggles that an immigrant from Haiti, or anywhere for that matter, might face as they battle to find where their identity lies.
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