Tuesday, January 27, 2009

When we first arrived here, we spent two months living in a Cameroonian village home, learning Ewondo (the local language) and the culture. One day someone told me that the head of the school had fallen from his palm tree and died. I said in French, “That’s too bad” and then asked how one said that in Ewondo. The response that I got seemed awfully long, but I wrote it down phonetically and practiced it every time that it seemed appropriate to express sympathy. It was a few weeks before I learned enough Ewondo to realize that I was saying almost daily not, “That’s too bad”, but rather, “The schoolmaster died.”

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