Engaging the locals

At dinner last night we had an interesting conversation with a little girl who was trying to sell hacky sacks and other bits of embroidered stuff to the gringos. She kept tapping the back of Tim’s head because our friend James from Oz was encouraging her to do so. I talked to her in spanish and asked her a bit about her life.

I asked her how old she was. She said she was 10. I asked her if she went to school. She said that she was on holiday for two months. I asked her how long she had to work for. She said she started at 7 in the morning and finished after 8 in the evening. I asked her if she ever had a day off. She said no. I asked her if she had any brothers and sisters. Her answer took me by surprise. She said proudly that she had 5 sisters, 3 brothers, and one dead.

It was so matter of fact. Boom, straight out with it. It seemed as if for her, it was an important fact to mention, but without much emotion in the response.

She sat with us all at the table where we were eating. I gave her some of my chocolate fudge cake with ice cream. She told me that the sugar hurt her teeth. We had been playing cards and she wanted to play too. She seemed to make up her own game, didn’t really explain the rules and promptly won. It seemed a bit like snap. James wanted to take a photo of her with us, but she answered that she didn’t like the flash. I suggested she pull a funny face and gave her an example, which seemed to amuse her greatly. After the she saw the photo on the digital camera’s screen she wanted to have a go too. James let her wonder around and randomly take photos of the whole restaurant. She seemed to have a talent for capturing the subject pretty well!

I asked her how many languages she spoke. She spoke six, two of which – fluently. She even knows bits of Hebrew. She calls Tim, ”Sappo”. I’m not sure what it means, but I think it is a reference to the fact that he is pretty white and due a sun tan!

Pretty amazing these people.

Buy the Gringo TrailJust finished a book called the Gringo Trail that Tim brought over with him. Interesting book, interspersed with historical information about South America, the Spanish Conquesadores, the English empirical actions and now the USA and their effect on the locals people. It also pointed out an interesting fact. 238 people in this world hold 45% of the world’s wealth. 1.4% of the world’s wealth is held by 2,300,000,000. Makes interesting reading.

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Ben Powell

Ben Powell was born in Wales and after living in several European countries is now resident in Germany. He is a frequent blogger, software developer and a social techie.

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