Saturday, May 28, 2011

Speak + read + write x 3?

The title might sound confusing so let me give you an explanation, but first, check out this sign:

Have you ever wondered how your life would be if you didn't know how to read? Or write? We often take it for granted - heck, I know I did. I love reading, I love writing and I cannot imagine my life without it!

A few weeks ago I wanted to put up a sign outside the gate in 3 languages: English, Krio and Thimne. (Keep in mind that my native language is Hungarian.) I wrote a note in English and ran down to the hospital deck to find a translator. I bumped into a German nurse. I spoke to her briefly in German and asked for a Krio speaker. She brought one to me. I told her what I needed, she said (in English) that she could translate. But when I gave her the paper she shook her head. As it turns out she UNDERSTANDS English, SPEAKS Krio and Thimne, but CANNOT WRITE. She was around 30...

She walked away and a few minutes later came back with another day worker. That guy didn't SPEAK Thimne, but he could WRITE. They assured me all is well and I can come back in 10 minutes. I went back a bit later and there was still no progress. I asked why. They told me they needed one more person who could READ my English words... At this point I was so taken aback that I just smiled at them and said "No problem, we find somebody."

What I expected to take only 5 minutes took over 30 minutes and 3 people:
- One guy read the sentence in English
- One girl translated it to Krio and Thimne
- One guy wrote down her words.

It put things in perspective, isn't it? It sure makes me grateful that I CAN read, write and speak not only 1, but in 3 different languages...


shorter said...

dear Reka,
I repeat my question again
I am a diplomat ... I need a dentist, and it is now possible to treat my country there is no return
Can I use the health care ship or not?
Please guide me

R.O.A.M... said...

Dear Sir,
The AFrica Mercy is not a health care ship, we offer free surgeries to those who can't afford it to go to a local doctor and whose life is in danger due to their conditions.
Our dental team offers free extractions every Monday and Thursday at the "Obama center" in Cline Town (close to the port gate in a big blue building), also known as the "Bishop's court" on a first come first served basis - you are welcome to go there.

shorter said...

Dear Reka,
Thank you very much your response
I need to have teeth repaired and I do not want it out
Freetown for medical and dental services is not safe
I am forced to stand for a few months this position
Can I request that you email?
That's very kind of you.