Monday, 5 July 2010


It was brought to my attention early during training that Portguese would only be half the battle here. It was brought to my attention in the following way:

(While sitting in the living room with Mama C and Jhonkikas in about my third week of training, as I understood the conversation at the time…)
Mama C: Valer, blahoo blah time blahçao school blah blah blah tomorrow?
Me: (excited at my pseudo-comprehension) Oh! I go school 7:30!
Mama C: (to Jon) Blahoo go early blahar no time blah blah take bath blah Valer.
Jon: Blahir no want blahçao help Valer. Blahes want sleep.
Me: (somehow able to ascertain through their discussion that my bathtime for the following morning is on the line) I make bath water warm in morning! No problem!
Mama C: (glancing sideways at me, surprised, perhaps a little annoyed…)
Me: (still grinning like a loon at my own cleverness). I can! Bath! Yes!
Mama C: (talking in complete gibberish which I only later recognize as the infamous Xangana) Blahki whistle blah grunt Valer blahi blah grunt whistle whistle grunt.
Jhon: (in agreement) Grunt.
Me: *sigh*

When I awoke the next morning, Mama C was already gone, Jhon was still asleep and there was no charcoal to make a fire. After a bitterly cold shower, I determined to someday learn to speak Xangana.

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