12 April 2011

I Still Don't . . . But Everybody Loves Déborah

Not gonna' lie . . . it's hard to be a single girl in a polygamous culture.  'You're already married' is not  a viable argument, and turning down ineligible men requires more creativity than it used to.

Ever since our little waltz the other day, A. has been much more peppy and interactive.  About a week ago, I gave him a jar of peanutbutter to get some extra calories and protein in his diet.  Originally I was going to give it to one of the male nurses to give to him, so he wouldn't get the wrong idea about it being a 'special' gift . . . you know . . . the 'I'm into you so I'm going to give you a goro and if you want to marry me I'll say yes' kind of gift . . . the one that doesn't exist in my culture and I find bizarre.  But when I had the jar and was passing by his room he called me in and asked if the peanutbutter was for him.  So, not thinking anything of it, I handed it over.  He refused it initially, but his brother took it and gave it to him and he accepted it.  I thought it was weird, but hey, right now everything is weird.

All week he's been very talkative and always willing to do whatever I ask in our therapy sessions.  I've already refused his proposal once, so I considered it rapport . . . stupid, naïve American.

That brings us to this morning.

While waiting for the nurse anesthetist to bring him some strong pain meds we had a very interesting conversation, thanks to the three OR techs standing nearby.

A: Wagi wej avija lvwiojbb wqigj w.kinseljij.
OR Tech1: He wants to speak with your mother.
Deb.: My mother?  Why?
OR Tech1: Vaiwoix aihjo wkqj biojbdq z ibopjo qbiqj?
A: Qibvoq kOibqn qpovi kqoijv kvzmi euivbnpn.
OR Tech1: He says he wants you to come live with him in Konni.
Deb.: It's not possible.
OR Tech1: Why not.
Deb.: Because my mother is not here.
OR Tech 1: Woijai vwnbi owimqp pgaoi qnoinb kajfwio.
A: Slajkv aabvnwa jdwoia vajsoig.  Wojia voiavoi abin a momw viano ib iwn avinih howia mowivs.
OR Tech 1: He said he saw you speaking with her yesterday.  You gave him the biscuits and now he says you can live with him.  His wife saw you and she's in agreement.
Deb.: Wait . . . WHAT?!?!?  He saw me speaking to my mom yesterday?
OR Tech 1: He said there was a woman here with you yesterday.
Deb.: That was Dr. S's wife.  She's not my mother.  My mother is in America.  And what's this about his wife?
OR Tech 1: Wivnoa iasoigjoi wanoivn Amerique oijq voie.
A: Waonb Amerique ij oijio jbbaounaoi asjijgt ia bnvqckw xziog tlnacnoiw.
OR Tech 1:  He said, okay, no problem he will come with you to Amerique.
Deb.: It's not possible.
OR Tech 1: Why not?
Deb.: Because I am staying in Niger for a long time.
OR Tech 1: Kovia abain lkmj oian vlknalnovifjglkq.
A: Kvoijqvq bqeurng oiz cxkk vqk qkljvoi bjk xji.  Wivja jbqbia lvkmzimwia bk ziq bfbqinizvn;k db3.
OR Tech 1: He said, okay, no problem you can send him to Amerique and he will wait there for you.
Deb.: It's not possible.
OR Tech 1: Why not?
Deb.: No one in America speaks Hausa.

That's when the two other guys that work with me everyday in the OR chimed in.  I'm not exactly sure of the dialogue after that . . . they would debate amongst themselves and look at me and keep talking, then they'd offer a one sentence summary that didn't seem to make much sense.

The conversation ended when the nurse anesthetist finally arrived:
OR Tech 2: His wife is in agreement, you can marry him.
Deb.:But I don't want to marry him.
OR Tech 2: Why not?
Deb.: For starters, I want to be the only wife . . . but not his only wife.
OR Tech 2: But he says he loves you.
OR Tech 3: Of course he does, tout le monde aime Déborah (everybody loves Déborah).

End of discussion.


Angela Rosseau said...

Just remembering the time I

Shalini said...

Love it, love it, love it! Talk about therapeutic rapport!

Deborah Berruti said...

HA HA HA!!! That's right!! Those were fun times! (I think it liked it better when they were all on post-its . . . didn't have to be creative with my rejections and it helped improve my trash-can-basketball skills!) :)

Deborah Berruti said...

HA! (but something tells me this isn't what my professors were talking about!) :)

Sarah Fountain said...

I know this isn't technically ethical, but you need an imaginary fiance.

Deborah Berruti said...

Lately I've had random twenty-something guys that are hanging around the hospital (I guess 'cause there's no where better to hang out??) ask me where I'm going . . . I've started answering: I'm looking for my husband.' That seems to shut them up. :)