Monday, April 5, 2010

The language of the birds



When we lived in Kenya,
a million years ago,
my father had to go and work somewhere
for a few months.
He was an engineer.
I know he went someplace near Lake Tanganyika,I think,
but not sure of exactly where,
I was very young!!!
Anyway, he would come home at the weekends and we would go and pick him up
at the airport,
which was actually a strip of land that had been cleared
to allow the planes to come in.
I remember him telling us about hearing the Africans talking outside his room, or maybe it was a tent,
at night, in their local dialect,
which I presume was not one he understood.
They greeted eachother.....
one man said,
"No-ovo"
and the other replied,
Ne-ess-a.

We all spoke Swahili,
fluently, we don't anymore!
well, my father was known to get some words a little mixed up,
and once in a while he would ask
if his potatoes had been polished.
The word for potato and shoes
are very similar,
so I guess he could be forgiven the mistake!!!
Like when we were in Paris on holiday one year,
we got lost and my mother insisted
that he ask for directions from one of the policemen.
My father stuck his head out of the window and yelled,
"Cochon, cochon".....
instead of
"argent".....officer,
the former means...
pig!!!

So, I was sitting outside and two crows showed up in the trees across the street.
One said
UH OH
and the other said
UH UH
and I was reminded of my
father.

My father had the most amazing name
of anyone I have ever known.
His parents couldn't make up their minds so they named him
Jack Albany Clarence Kipling Barnes...
but we just called him
Dad.

(edited
ok so it was Lake Victoria
he was away for a year
and
his name was the fashion
of the day.)
:)

 


4 comments:

Lynda said...

What a lovely post ... such wonderful memories ... I love the old photo of your Dad, too ....

Mrs Twins said...

Hello!
Thanks for visiting my blog! Good name!
I'm loving this post so interesting. I also had a look back at your earlier posts. I love all the nature photographs, but most of all love the crocheting! I'm glad we have that in common!
Hugs and lOve Suex

Bolmara said...

It´s a wonderful photograph !!!! I love that kind of pictures... very nice your blog too. Nice to visit it ...

Anonymous said...

He was actually working, for about a year, at Lake Victoria. He swore that it was during that time that all hope of controlling us was lost. Mother was obviously far too liberal with us!

And Marilyn, it was the fashion of the time, to name your son, like the King or the Prince, if there was one, which there usually was, with five or six names. In this case, his parents managed to spell out the name by which he was known Jack - Jack Albany Clarence Kipling Barnes Manns. Sort of Jack B. Manns.