Monday, January 12, 2009

Street smart

I took the kids to a birthday party of an Ethiopian family in our community. The father, who had never met my kids, still speaks Amharic. He was asking me a little about the kids and he asked me if he could speak Amharic to Marin because he wanted to see if she remembered. I told him OK.

So the guy starts talking to Marin and she just stares at him with a blank face. Totally unresponsive. Almost like a death mask. Finally the guy turns to me and says "I guess she forgot."

Later, in the car on the ride home. Marin started asking me questions about the man.

"Why did he ask me where I live?"
" Why did he ask me if my shoes were comfortable?"
" Why did he ask me if I like cake?"
" Why did he ask me to dance with the kids?"

and on and on and on.

Finally I said, "Marin, so you do understand everything he said?" Obviously yes.

"Then why did you pretend to not understand him?"

Marin said "Because I thought he was from Ababa Kakos (the director of the orphanage) and he came to take me back to Africa."

The poor kid. It never even entered my mind that she would read the situation like that!

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