I know just enough Deriga to greet people Be kher? (All is good?) La Bas? (no problems?) Mezien? (good?) Hamdoollah! (thank goodness!). Then, people get all excited and they start a flood of words.
Misunderstanding: I really thought that the fruit seller across from the door of the studio was asking how my show was coming, saying it would be beautiful (Meziuowena) and that he would come see it on Saturday (Samedi).
What he really said: I found these 6 kittens. Each one is a different color, fampti? You understand? Here is where I should have said Ma Fampt Shi—I don’t understand. They are beautiful. I will bring them to you on Saturday so you can draw them.
So, I know just enough that people think I can speak really well. But really, I know about what a 3 year old knows: I want this, how much, I go here, I do this. I find myself wanting to reach out with my words to ask more about others, but I am tripping over the lack of vocabulary. But in the end, we all end up nodding and smiling. They say "Misquina" poor little one--(I think it sounds like poor little mosquito). But they like me because I am trying. If I am lucky, someone is near to help translate, and all is well.
Packing up more today, and leaving tonight. I just know that these stories will slip away, and this one was too good to forget.
Heather Danso, now Heather Emanuel, is a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Method® Practitioner, Restorative Yoga teacher, LMT, and Awareness Through Movement® facilitator.
As an artist, she playfully explores work in Acrylic, printing, and multimedia, creating portraits and abstracts that explore expression, playfulness, identity, and the possible. Her CV is here.