This morning, I remembered something I’d almost completely forgotten about. It’s strange because I haven’t thought of it in years, but this morning, I found myself chuckling over the incident and thought I’d share it with you for a couple of reasons.
#1: I’d love to make you laugh.
#2: I always remember the things I write down. (And, even if I forget, there’s the blog’s memory, right?)
So….let me tell you a tale.
Long ago, in a land far away….
I was traveling through the bush of northwestern Tanzania in a four-wheel drive vehicle with two older male missionaries, an elderly Tanzanian pastor and, at one point, an armed guard.
We were visiting villages and taking notes, and everyone was talking. In Kiswahili.
As the days went on, my ability to understand increased, but my ability to respond properly remained completely inadequate. In fact, even when I thought I might be able to answer, I stayed quiet because I found that though my ears heard Swahili, my tongue spoke Spanish. Two years of Spanish at Ole Miss, and all I had really managed was to confuse everyone, including myself.
So, I listened and learned while one of the missionaries laughed. A lot. At my expense.
This guy was nothing if not mischievous.
So, one day, he decided I should stop being shy and speak. Even if the words were Spanish. At least then he could laugh, right?
So, we were sitting and waiting in a village when some small boys came by. He began a lively conversation with them, and I understood only about half the words.
The ones I caught weren’t really alarming until the boys ran off toward a goat and the missionary burst into fits of laughter.
I looked at him and said, “WHAT did you tell them?”
He grinned and said, “I told them you love to drink fresh goat’s milk, and they should go get you some right now!”
Needless to say, I quickly remembered how to say, “No, thank you,” and “I don’t want milk!”
And, I never have forgotten.