26 July 2008

Learning Ewe en brousse

21 July 08

Learning Ewe en brousse

Learning Ewe will be even more necessary than I realised at first. Now
that I am in Mission Tove, I can see just how rural it is. Few poeple
seem to be educated enough to speak French. Certainly, the people in my
compound currently don't speak it. (Except the men)
I never thought cooking on a charcoal stove would be tough but I guess
I'm used to American-style pre-kerosene soaked, perfectly processed
charcoal briquettes. The charcoal here basically looks and feels like
burnt wood, crumbly and rough pieces.
Anyway, I need help getting my fire started – the locals have obliged
very nicely – it's really only that I need to get over my bruised pride
that I can't accomplish such a necessary daily task as start a fire.
Back to the anyway – because my neighbours don't speak French, my
communication with them has consisted of bringing my little square
stove over to them and looking pleadingly at them.
So I decided to take out my Ewe book and try to work on some useful
phrases like 'can you help me start my fire so I can boil some water
because I'm really really thirsty, please, k? thanks' I didn't find
anything that specific but I can say:
'Medekuku, medibe ma do dzo' which means roughly, 'excuse me/please, I
would like to light the fire'
I gave this phrase a try today at lunch and the maman seemed to
understand me. (It probably also helped that was also holding the stove
and looking pleadingly at her – yay for non-verbals) But she did say
the phrase back to me using the 'you' form instead of the 'I' form,
which makes me pretty sure I was intelligible. Huzzah.

current books: Le Chateau Maudit and The Book of Bao

Picture: check out me rockin' my (borrowed) pagne complet

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