Remember the scene where Kevin Costner sits and watches the Natives as they go about their rituals, speaking their own language and he is left to observe? Most people would think that you have to travel to some remote island or third world country to experience this. Not for me and Amy, we just cross the street into "little Somalia."
Last night we found ourselves in our neighbors' living room. It isnt a new thing, they often invite us up and we talk as best we can and be as polite as we can. Last night was fun. There were 18 people in the living room at one point. The room itself is like a Doctor's waiting room, but with colorful tapestries on the walls. Apparently it is customary for a woman not to leave her house after having a baby until there is a party in her honor. Last night was such the occasion. Amy got to hold this new little guy who was only a few weeks old. He slept the entire time we were there.
The Somalis are the best neighbors. The matriarch, Makufu Bana, loves that Amy and I know a few phrases in their language. Only 15 - 20 thousand people speak their language, so it is funny to hear us return a hello. Anytime I see her with a new friend sitting on the stoop, she drops "mmmm veee heee," to which I respond "Fiiia" and whomever she is with will laugh out loud. The laughing is not at me so much as because they have never heard a white person speak their language. I am pretty sure it is really really amusing to them hearing us try and speak it.
So we sat for more than half of an hour, listening. Sometimes you know they are talkinga bout you because of the common words "dakdakadakdakda OHIO dakdakdakda dka BICYILEEE dakdadkaka KALIFORINAAA"
When we leave their house, we are always so happy. We have great neighbors.