Saying It Like It Is

Coming from a culture of semi-fragile emotions, I had to get used to the culture here of “saying it like it is”, for lack of a better term. What I mean is this: Since the day Matt, Zach, and Joey walked into this village until now, we are referred to, among other terms, as “white skins”. But we are definitely not the only ones labeled by their most most set-apart feature.

Meet “teeth” (Miti):This guy is called teeth because he has big teeth.

And… here is “twin” (Musawe):

This woman has a deformity which has affected her entire body, but most notably her hands, which have just a couple fingers each. Hence, “twin”.

And… my favorite: Here is “bald spot” (Momasio):

Since huts have a central lowered fire pit for cooking and heating, many children have fallen into the fires when unattended and the results vary of course. But because of this, the Ndo language has a word for a bald spot that is caused by a burn scar on the head. This man has a large scar on the back of his head… therefore everyone calls him “bald spot”. So funny. “Whose bananas are those? They are bald spot’s daughter’s bananas.”

Since I am still new at learning the culture here, it is easy for me to offend people in other things I talk about (though they are generally very forgiving), so it is nice that at least in this aspect, I am more careful than they are!

5 thoughts on “Saying It Like It Is”

  1. Oh, my goodness. It would seem no one in the village could walk around with any false pride, anyway. Very interesting. May God give you wisdom, as you continue to learn the culture.

  2. I love reading your posts Cass! Very interesting culture over there.

    John, Wyatt and I recently moved to South America. We are living in a mining town in Northern Chile. We have been here almost 3 month and it already feels like home! Sending you hugs!

  3. That seems so unusual to me and I am sure others here in the states. Your blog makes me wonder what you could say that is embarrassing when they are so “outspoken” or offensive. I miss you all. LoveMom

  4. Cass, It reminds me of a story an old girlfriend told me when they moved to Baja, Mexico to plant a church. She was surprised when people would describe others, and in front of them, as ‘the fat one’. She had to get used to that. Interesting how different cultures can be!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *