I figured I should wait a day for this post, just incase anyone thought this story was my April Fool's prank of 2017. I do love a good prank . . . I've managed to pull some really fantastic ones since being in Galmi, but this year . . . I don't know if it's the heat, or how much more energy cooking-for-two can take out of me, or if it's because I'm really just in denial that it's been four months since I posted anything on this blog . . . but I just wasn't into April Fool's this year.
So I thought it would be fun to share my favorite April Fool's prank that was pulled on me, by a Nigerien, at Christmas.
Several years ago in December, I went to the hospital maintenance workshop to put in for a request that something be fixed at my house. There I found D., the guy that was the shop manager at the time; with him was G. a local man who had done some contract work with the hospital. G. also had a 13 year old son who lost his leg as the result of a motorbike accident.
G. and his son had been in to see me a few months before, asking about prosthetic legs. We were only beginning to think about starting a prosthetics clinic at that time, so I told him we could do nothing more to help him at that moment. They thanked me and went on their way.
There in the shop, I began to greet D. & G. They greeted back then G. began speaking to me in very animated and fast Hausa. This was the conversation that followed:
G: Déborah, alskdj flakj lkjlk jaskdvlakdj 100,000 francs alskdjf lakjdflkjaflkaj fla lkdjf awoia jgovaijz zmlizawkcvml aoij zvlaoe ivv;klz ai jv/.kamowei ia v;wnavwon lknoiv.
Deb.: I don't understand.
D: He said he paid you 100,000 francs so you would give him a leg for his son.
Deb.: He didn't give me any money!
G: Aa voil lkmi avl;kam diwm lkavnwl kmvai lkaiwlr ioajkvfou;nlia mv ak rimvaiv rao3lk ;fvompa;i mevalvfli ;r3i vl mfil3m l;a ;vi va iari;fl; vao3r;i nlfvn ig roqg3oin gq85;nl 9ng8 h naglkn; valraij3g.
D: He said he gave you the money.
Deb.: He didn't give me ANY money!
G: Owav lmvao fn;virwo ijav oij ;il;oiealifl;iheg boine roi ivfm 100,000 francs ;liehfb inv ogbh sn oaenb.
D: He said you told him it would cost them 100,000 francs and that he came back with the money and paid you and you told them you would call him when the leg was ready and they could come and get it. But you never gave them a leg, only took his money.
Deb.: (very confused and worried) D. I NEVER TOOK ANY MONEY FROM HIM!
G: LSVI WLKM VSID LKOW 100,000 francs L:KVNOWN VLOIWC NKLSDLM: DOIWVN SVDK: ONIDNDWN:SVM LWN:OVLK: NIWLDVSIHOGRHGRUIGUHi!
D: He is saying that he gave you this 100,000 francs and he either wants it back or he wants a leg for his son, your choice.
Deb.: D! I REALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT! I NEVER TOOK ANY MONEY FROM HIM! I TOLD HIM THAT WE WERE NOT MAKING LEGS HERE YET, THAT IT WAS A DREAM FOR US TO SOME DAY MAKE THEM, BUT I DID NOT TAKE ANY MONEY FROM HIM!!!
G: MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!
Deb.: (blank stare)
G: (laughing very hard)
Deb.: (blank stare)
G: Get it?? MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
Deb.: (continued blank stare)
D: OH!!! I GET IT!!! That's hilarious! (begins laughing with G.)
Deb.: (grumpy face)
D: He has confused Christmas with April Fool's!! There was no money . . . he is just kidding! But don't tell him, it will shame him if he understands that he mixed up your holidays.
How's that for #lostintranslation?