There are times when I find myself extremely frustrated with language and cultural immersion. In Gambia, English is the official language, only it's not taught by native speakers. What is taught, is British English and the result is some of the strangest English I've ever heard besides what they speak in Jamaica. This week, I was attempting to build rapport with one of the teachers I will be coaching this school year, and after about five minutes of talking he simply said, "I don't understand what you are saying." I felt deflated, exasperated, and extremely frustrated.
But then things changed. I had arranged my first meeting with my village to discuss their needs and how I could best serve them. I honestly thought there would be no more than 5 people at the meeting. To my surprise 21 people showed up! Among them were my Alkalo (chief), the Head Master of my school (Principal), representatives from the Mother's Club, and several other stakeholders. I regret not taking a picture but imagine lil ol me sitting at the foot of a mango tree talking about community development in a rural African village. I felt God's presence and was reminded that at the end of it all no matter how frustrated I may get, I have a job to do. This job is less about me and more about her. My efforts are for her family, her education, her health care, and the prosperity of her village.
Stay true. Subscribe.
Kanika: Poet. Lover of Words. One who tells the stories of the mundane and inanimate. Bearer of Light, Water, and Sky.