Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How Is Your Donkey?

Mark and I are at different stages of learning Hausa, the most prevalent tribal language in Jos. He’s pretty good at sannu (hello) and nagode (thank you), while I’m feeling quite smug with my growing vocabulary. So confident that I’ve even been asking people at the clinic ‘How is your body?’. Imagine my surprise at their laughter – fortunately somebody politely explained that I’ve REALLY been asking ‘How is your donkey?’ At least it’s not as bad as the preacher in Barbara Kingsolver’s novel The Poisonwood Bible who mistakenly called the bible ‘poison’!

Also, I've learned (the hard way, again!) that husbands and wives in Nigeria do not call each other by their first names. It's especially disrespectful for a wife to call her husband by his first name because she is supposed to treat him like a semi-God. A title like 'sweetie,' 'my dear,' or even 'my Lord' are more acceptable. There's no question which one Mark prefers. :-)

He's now met almost all of the Faith Alive Family and toured the area. On Wednesday he’ll start meeting with Joshua to plan their computer training lessons for next week, and also go to Nigerian football (soccer) practice. Right now he’s practicing the American couch potato and missing his Fantasy Football draft.

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