Junior looked at Ciaran

Do you have money? in English. Ciaran almost slapped him. They decided to go to the district capital, one hour away by public van, to go shopping.Surface traveling in this part of West Africa was far more challenging than Ciaran had expected. Up until now he had not had too much occasion to be on the road, since he was in training.


The roads were merely parts of the land where the trees were not growing, and the vehicles were amalgamated out of whatever could be cobbled together to propel freight. The heat and humidity were unbearable when standing out waiting for lorrys or taxis, and the pervasive foul odor of diesel and carbon monoxide was enough to knock down a strong man.

No vehicle left the station until it was completely full, buy youtube views so as not to waste an ounce of fuel, and in order to get the most money they packed people in literally on top of each other. There were taxi ranks and lorry parks youtube views in the larger communities, but in Rabas there was only a place to wait for tro-tros. It was under the canopy of an acacia tree outside the village at the junction of two roads which headed off to the district capital and the coast.


A tro-tro was a private van roughly the size and shape of a VW microbus. They had two seat bench seats along the drivers’ side and single seats along the passengers’ side, and between them they all had welded fold down seats that could be closed once the seats to the rear were filled. This absolutely maximized the human buy youtube views capacity of the vehicles. Junior, Big Joe, and Ciaran joined one of these and since it was so early in the day they got to the very back of the tro-tro. There was already one giant market woman in the very back, so Junior took the window seat and held Big Joe on his lap and Ciaran took the seat next to him.

There was a load on top of the tro-tro already, youtube views and Ciaran rightly assumed that it belonged to the market woman. After about fifteen minutes a heavily muscled masonry worker came and took the fold down seat- half of his pelvis jammed into Ciaran’s midriff and his thigh pinned Ciaran’s leg between the sharp and ungainly fold down field weld. Ciaran was still not confident in his ability to communicate, and clearly this man would not speak English, youtube views so he remained silent. They waited, and the sun slanted in through the window. They waited, and people dribbled in as the sun rose higher.


The complete tour

There was also a note that Junior buy youtube views took out and handed to Ciaran. It was from Ben, written in a large, deliberate schoolboy script, and it read as follows: Mr. Murphy, Our custom dictates that after you travel far no one come visit you. You should be left alone to rest. Also, you may need some food.


This my niece will bring to you today. I too am resting. If you need something today then please write it on the note and give to my niece. May God grant you the most pleasant of rests. Ben Big Joe lifted one of the plates and said, eggs, then the other and said, bread.

Junior grabbed his hands and chastised him for touching the plates. Ciaran opened the thermos and said, tea. Ciaran put the cover plates down and divided out the eggs and bread and then poured the tea into the cups already sitting in front of them. There could be no mistake that they were to share that meal too, and they did. When they were done youtube views eating Ciaran took the plate and pointed to it, saying, plate in English, and then, how do you say it in Kuri? in Kuri.


Jala, Big Joe responded, and Ciaran repeated it until Big Joe was satisfied that it was correct. Big Joe thought this was a great game. He ran and came back with a spoon and Ciaran learned the word for spoon. He ran and came back with a palm nut, youtube views and Ciaran learned the word for palm nut. This carried on for about a half an hour until Junior started to correct Ciaran’s pronunciation.

Then Ciaran and Junior began to interact directly, and Ciaran took the opportunity to try to learn more abstract vocabulary, like verbs and idioms and expressions like good job and so on. Little by little as Junior tried to explain abstracts he used more and more English words until Ciaran understood that Junior had been to school and had learned more English than he let on. Ciaran used the spoon and the bowl to pantomime drinking with a spoon and then trying buy youtube views to drink without the spoon and saying, I need, to elicit that meaning from Junior. Both Junior and Big Joe tried different phrases and Ciaran could not be sure which if either were correct. He led them both back to his house.

He brought them to the bath and pantomimed using a cup to douse himself with water, and since cup was one of the words he had newly acquired he was able to say, I need, in English and cup, in Kuri. They understood. Big Joe said you need, and then pantomimed soap. It was true, Ronny did need soap and he could really use a bath right now. Ciaran led Big Joe and Junior throughout his house pointing out cookware and housewares that he needed.