Monday, 23 July 2012

Making the Mute Speak...

yesterday i came into town and used the internet but didnt post as i hadnt really done anything, other than go for lunch in town. we went back to a little place i discovered a few days ago, but they didnt have enough fod for 4 of us, so we went to another one next door, where we had a rather bizarre exchange with the woman behind the bar.

when we went in there were several groups sitting at the tables munching away, so we went to the bar and asked the woman for a menu. she looked back at us and said 'we dont have.' in quite a lot of these places they dont have a written menu, you just ask for what they have on the day, so i was like 'ok, do you have food? chakula?'  she looked a bit surprised and said yes, so i was like 'ok, what do you have?' she just looked back at me and said 'we dont have.' at which point we left! i dont know if she understood me really or if she just didnt want a load of Mzungus eating in her restaurant, but we werent going to get fed there! we ended up at sky blue.

this week the kids have got final exams, which is a bit rubbish volunteering wise as there isnt a lot we can do, but we can go in at breaks and after the exam has finished, even if there is like an hour til lunch the teachers dont do anything with them, just let them basically run riot, so we can go in and organise stuff to do then.

ive been working on my runyankole too, i can now count to 19 (can't for the life of me keep the word for 20 in my head), ask if you are ill, where you are going, and what you want, tell people to smile for photos, ask for things, say please and thankyou, name some animals and body parts, ask your name and age, and say that a mosquito has bitten me! the kids love it when you speak to them in their language, and today at break some of the older girls were teaching me some more things, asking me how many sisters, brothers and babies i have! I also learned how to say 'I will beat you', which started out as a bit of a joke around the lodge, we all learned how to say it and were constantly threatening eachother with it, but its actually really useful because you hear the teachers say it all the time, and then you know that they are breaking the rules by threatening the kids, and so you can keep a closer watch on them.

today at break Shila came and found me and climbed onto my back, she has special needs (though i have no idea of the specifics of the situation) and she doesnt speak. she does make some effort to make the sounds though and she's not deaf or stupid; if you tell her to write her name on a piece of paper she can and she's only in baby class, so its more than most of them can do. anyway, she's really cuddly and always wants to be picked up, despite being bigger than the other babies. once you pick her up she will tap you on the shoulder and then point to things she wants you to look at or where she wants to go, and the other day i was holding her and break finished and she was indicating that she wanted me to go to her class, as she kept pointing at it. i was like 'where? where do you want me to go?' she was just pointing and saying 'dey' which is a favourite of all the kids to point things out to you anyway, but i wasnt having it, and eventually she was like 'ba-bee' which was completely amazing, ive never know her say something understandable, ever.

i kind of passed it off as fluke, but today she was on my back and i kept asking her 'Nozahi?' which really means where are you going, but i was asking her and she was pointing where she wanted to go. anyway, i was asking her and she pointed so i started walking and then i stopped and asked 'where, here?' and she was like 'here! here! here!' it was so cool. i really want to just spend more time talking to her, because im sure that if she just had more one to one time she would be fine.

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