Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Greetings and Goodbyes Are All I'm Good For

At least for now. If this pic was a video, you would be hearing my very limited Kabiye language skills on display. I'm probably telling this guy, "pilaba cee" (pih-lah-bah chay), or "see you later". The smile on this man's face shows some of the great things about the Kabiye people - their kind nature, helpfulness, and willingness to accept others.

I no doubt butcher their language at every attempt to communicate, but they still smile, answer back, and they often try to help me with my pronunciation or word choice. Try going to France and butchering the French language to a stranger on the streets of Paris. I've done it several times, and it's often not a pleasant experience. The French may have good toast and fries, but I'll always prefer the rice and beans in a Kabiye village with a side order of mercy when I habitually speak Kabiye like the ignorant young missionary that I am...

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