The views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are solely those of the author. This account does not reflect the views of the government of Togo, Peace Corps Togo, other PC Volunteers, the United States Peace Corps, the US Government, your dog, Kara’s dog, or really anyone but me, because that would be ridiculous.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Chalk Talk

Most afternoons I open up my porch for the local kids to draw. The porch is a 10x5 concrete slab and sidewalk chalk from the states makes a great medium for the masterpieces of the kids. Also, it’s easy to clean. I’ve never really been around a group of 5-10 year olds for any amount of time so I don’t really have any idea what a group of them would talk about. The local kids seem to ignore me for the most part while chattering along in Adja. They don’t have enough French for me to ask them anything and since they aren’t talking about corn, beans, bicycles, school, or local moonshine, my Adja vocabulary is of no help. What’re also great are the conversations of adults in Adja in French that I overhear and understand. The standard format for a conversation in village is three or four people listening to an “expert” explain something. This expert can be anyone and they should not actually have any expertise on the issue under discussion. Their explanation is often totally ridiculous and wrong. “I did see the elephant that the pig gave birth to,” “that ethnic group made all the goats disappear,” “Joe can’t understand us, so let’s talk about how funny he talks.” So I can only imagine the discussion going on between the three eight year old boys beside me as they draw cars, cooking pots, and Togo flags. “That’s not what a bucket looks like,” “this is the coolest chalk I’ve ever seen,” “if he somehow wins the election, will all of Mitt Romney’s wives live in the White House?” Good question Kossivi. Good question.