When will we eat the fat chicken, that one
There have already been many moments that I would describe as lost in translation. A perfect example of this is my Peace Corps friend Seth, who accidently mixed up two vowel sounds and said the following when asked how he was doing. Instead of Ibee jay (Mandika for I am fine today). He said Ibu jaw, which is perfect Mandinka for “Defecate here” This produced endless laughter and village kids mimicking squatting. My own mix up in Wolof came last night when I was talking to my host family about their son and what a good student he was, I tried to say he has a sharp mind, “Hellim la dafa nyow” instead I said “Hellim la dafa nyoow” which is “he has ugly thoughts” all because I carried an o for a fraction of a second too long. This is made worse by the fact that many native language speakers do not understand that we have trouble with tonal vowel sounds.
We have chicken and goats in our compound (word for house and yard owned by one head), they are much more mobile than the ones in the states. The other day I hummed “spider goat spider goat look out spider goat!” as I watched one scale a four foot concrete wall to walk on top of it then stand on its hind legs to eat the overhanging leaves of a mango tree. The chickens fly in the trees at night. Yes I said fly, these chickens can fly for short distances and can even scale roofs and trees for safety.
There is a whole process which I will not get into now, but it is fascinating and humbling to experience an animal in your front yard every day, and then for it to end up in your dinner rather suddenly one night. I have great compassion for animals, and I will write on my thoughts on this later.
Here is my answer now to where I will be posted.
The Wolof language will be very different in the city. Being that there is already a heavy influence of French in the language, some of what I have learned is also French, in the city there is also language unique to the English Cultural Revolution. Mangay drive- I am driving. Naka things – how are things? Yangee cool? - Are you cool? Waaw, mangee cool- yes, I’m cool. Ammut problem – there is no problem. This strange cultural phenomenon is taking the teens here by storm much to the dismay of the parents, and you wonder if this may have anything to do with the fact that a dvd of every American movie and soap opera is available for the equivalent of 75 cents on the street corners. Though in village no one has electricity or TV, the cultural waves are felt even here.
There was a field trip up country this week, as we were driving our bus by a village in the middle of nowhere, cheering began to erupt and the bus came to a halt as we saw no less than 30 large baboons running through the open grasses, with two dogs and a child brandishing a machete chasing after them.
I was able to maybe get these photos to upload on limited internet, this is from the Dress me and Pink, Call me Momodu and Make me Dance naming ceremony, our entire Peace Corp Photo, a donkey that a pet and then told the family I had named it "Fredrick", a small turtle, Blaine myself and our teacher Haddy, my little host brother Malik sister Rohee and unknown village girl (far right), my host brother momodu and little sister bowsay, there is a trash dump we visited in the city, it is quite horrifying, then there is my host family.