15 March 2011

I Say Goodbye When You Say Hello

'Sai an jima!' I said with gusto to the guard at the hospital's back entrance this morning.  He stared at me, puzzled.  As did the three random Nigeriens sitting around nearby.  It was 7:30 in the morning . . .  and I just told him 'See ya later!' as if I was heading home for the night.  'Uh . . . Ina . . . Ina . . . INA KWANA!!' (good morning) I managed to finally muster.  They all laughed at me . . . I mean, with me.


A little while later I doing crutch training with a patient who recently had a below-knee amputation.  One of the nurses had kindly translated for me what we were going to do, how this was going to work, and how she should correctly use the crutches.  After I had adjusted them, she (the patient) and I were going to go for a little walk.  But of course the adjustment took longer than necessary, as the holes were not in the right place again and I had to detour to the workshop to borrow the drill . . . so the nurse was not there when I returned.  Feeling pretty confident with my 5 word, 6 phrase repertoire of the Hausa language, we pressed on with our session sans translator.  The patient began to make her way to the edge of the bed.  'Zamna!' I told her.   She looked back at me, really confused, and stopped moving.  Thankfully body language speaks better than words . . . while I had meant to tell her to stand up (tashi) I had told her to sit down!

Too many languages in the brain at the moment . . . the left temporal lobe is struggling to keep up (maybe it's because 30 is lurking around the corner).

Fabric sightings today:  Roosters, flying hearts, strings of pearls, paper fans, and three and four leaf clovers, and (my personal favorite) flip-flops.

7 comments:

Bethany said...

i would love to know where they get all of that cool fabric!

heidibelle said...

Language is so hard Deb... keep up the hard work...

coolmo_77 said...

Wow, Debbie! That language barrier sounds frustrating, even though it's funny now. I have a hard enough getting my english right and i was born here! Thanks for sharing. Miss you! :)

coolmo_77 said...

Wow, Debbie! That language barrier sounds frustrating, even though it's funny now. I have a hard enough getting my english right and i was born here! Thanks for sharing. Miss you! :)

Bethany said...

i would love to know where they get all of that cool fabric!

coolmo_77 said...

Hey Deb,
I'm sorry I haven't been on here much. I pray for you every time I enter the kitchen since your missionary card. It's in the front of my Bible ever since you came to yam. i hope your having good weather. i'm so happy your serving God and found His will for your life. i pray God gives you safety and meets your needs! :)

coolmo_77 said...

Hey Deb,
I'm sorry I haven't been on here much. I pray for you every time I enter the kitchen since your missionary card. It's in the front of my Bible ever since you came to yam. i hope your having good weather. i'm so happy your serving God and found His will for your life. i pray God gives you safety and meets your needs! :)