"Taste of Salt" by Frances Collins, Chapters 13–18

This novel tells the story of Djo and Jeremie, two young people in Haiti working to improve conditions in their country and achieve their dreams.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1–6, Chapters 7–12, Chapters 13–18, Chapter 19–Epilogue
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Full list of words from this list:

  1. burial
    the ritual placing of a corpse in a grave
    The wake go all night, till the sun come up, and when it is over, I not even allowed to go with Donay’s body to the burial ground, which is outside the central.
  2. conveyor belt
    a moving loop of material that transports objects
    I clean the black oil that crust on the conveyor belt and rollers and teeth.
  3. dread
    fearful expectation or anticipation
    Outside is as hot as ever, but inside I am cold with dread.
  4. transfusion
    the introduction of blood or plasma into a vein or artery
    His hand was shaking a little, vibrating as if he were giving Djo a transfusion of energy.
    This word is used figuratively here, since the description is focused on how the vibration of one person's hand could be transferring energy (not blood) into the other person's body.
  5. noncommittal
    refusing to bind oneself to a particular course of action
    I moved my head noncommittally, and he smiled.
  6. philosophy
    the rational investigation of existence and knowledge
    I was walking on clouds that day, proud to be beginning my Philosophy Year, as the nuns call this last one.
  7. convent
    a religious residence especially for nuns
    In a far corner of the convent park we heard laughter, and when we looked we saw one tall, strong boy waving a flat stick, and all around him little boys jumping.
  8. impressive
    making a strong or vivid mental image
    It was mysterious to me and also very impressive.
  9. preach
    deliver a sermon
    When he had a church, I used to go to mass to hear him preach.
  10. transparent
    able to be seen through with clarity
    There is a transparent tube that goes from the bag of sugar water that the doctor hung above Djo’s head.
  11. missionary
    someone sent to a foreign country to spread a religion
    The tube, called IV, and other supplies for Djo were sent by missionaries after they read in the paper what had happened to Djo and the other boys.
  12. acquaint
    cause to come to know personally
    It is strange to become acquainted with someone’s feet and never touch the rest of him.
  13. jumble
    a confused multitude of things
    When you are in the middle of it, life is one big jumble.
  14. relic
    an antiquity that has survived from the distant past
    My Philosophy notebook already looks to me like a relic from the past.
  15. flutter
    move along rapidly and lightly; skim or dart
    Anything that could twist and twirl and flutter I collected in a box and kept under my bed.
  16. misery
    a state of ill-being due to affliction or misfortune
    “Is Education and Education alone will free her from this misery we in.”
  17. purity
    the state of being unsullied by sin or moral wrong
    The nuns told me it is the color of purity, of virginity.
    As seen in this example sentence, "purity" and "virginity" are often seen as synonymous. But "purity" also has a meaning that's unconnected to religion or sex: "being undiluted or unmixed with extraneous material."
  18. ragamuffin
    a dirty shabbily clothed urchin
    “Don’t pay them any mind,’’ she said. “They are just ragamuffins.”
  19. sentimental
    very sentimental or emotional
    She says that I just think I love Djo because he is so hurt. She says this is no time to be sentimental. That Djo and I are too different for things to be good between us if and when he gets well.
    "Sentimental" can also mean "marked by tender, romantic, or nostalgic emotion." Both definitions fit, because the speaker thinks she has tender and romantic feelings for Djo, but the sincerity of her feelings are being questioned by another.
  20. slogan
    a favorite saying of a sect or political group
    Near school two well-known Macoutes in a car gunned down a young man who was writing slogans on a wall.
  21. desolation
    the state of being decayed or destroyed
    She went back to see, and I heard her tell 
Maman how it was, a desolation of lost shoes and
 hats, of blood, of burned ballots floating in the breeze, 
sticking in the blood.
  22. chapel
    a place of worship that has its own altar
    I knelt in the chapel every day, holding the smooth, cool rosary beads Sister gave me, playing them one by one through my fingers as I repeated the prayers.
  23. pulpit
    a platform raised to give prominence to the person on it
    Then Father Aristide, looking small and frail in his white cassock, walked to the pulpit.
  24. incite
    provoke or stir up
    The role of the church is to promote peace, not to incite violence.
  25. congregation
    group that habitually attends a particular place of worship
    The congregation at evening mass looked more tired than on Sunday morning.
Created on August 24, 2014 (updated September 4, 2018)

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