Friday, July 11, 2008

Hundreds of nieces and nephews

In Sierra Leone, the customary term of respect for an older person as well as a term of endearment is to call them Aunty or Uncle along with their first name. So, the moment Scott and I arrived with the teacher team, we have been called Aunty Laura and Uncle Scott. Most of their African accents can kind of get Laura down, but when Scott introduces himself, there is almost always laughter and confusion because the sound of his name with the two hard consonants is so different from most of their African words or sounds. That distinction has somehow worked in Scott’s favor and lodged his name in every kid’s head. So, that combined with the fact that he is the only white male currently in our group (!) has made Scott the most popular of us all by far. Only here a few days, the children are still trying to remember all the girls’ names, mine included, but when Scott walks across the courtyard between the homes or in between school buildings, a peppering of “Uncle Scott!” rings out in young voices. Don’t get me wrong, I do get shouted at as well, but the popularity of Uncle Scott is beyond comparison. It is absolutely so much fun.

Now, to learn all 90-some names of the home kids so we can shout back at them…

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