Thursday, January 24, 2008

Meet My Other Housemate, the Pied Piper

She walks through the market and women call out her name. On the street, she's stopped several times for in depth conversations in Swahili. One woman in the market struggles to translate what she's just told Amy in Swahili and another helps by yelling out in English, "Smile ... she has a great smile."

That's my housemate. Amy is a medical student and her smile and her open spirit is a natural attraction to everyone we encountered. She was here for several months and then left for Christmas and has now returned.

Her language skills are astounding. I'd love to say that it's because she's 25, a medical student and use to absorbing lots of information at a short time. But, hey, some folks have language skills and some folks struggle.

For all the fellow strugglers out there, do you ever find that when you don't know the language you're surrounded by you just grab at any language you may have studied? I keep saying "lo siento" in the market or "si" when I need an affirmative answer.

But for all the verbal stumbling I'm doing, I'll be a better ESL teacher, right? I certainly know what it feels like to be totally befuddled!

But for now, I have great housemates who appear to have the town at their disposal.

As we say in Texas, Woohoo!

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