Friday, September 09, 2005

Moment #421. Yoruba, just a card. Fri, Sep 9, 2005.

09/09/2005. I was driving home from a social club meeting downtown. I thought of stopping at a certain gas station on the right side of the road, to see if they had pop on sale. But I was in the left lane, and other cars to my right were preventing a smooth lane change, and there were cars behind me. I thought of going to a different place down the street, but then I felt a "tug" to go to this gas station. So after I passed it, I made the next left turn, and circled back.

I was in line to check out, and I thought the second man in front of me might be from Africa, based on his shirt, and his leather sandals. Those things are not sure indications, but generally correlate, especially open heeled leather sandals. He was not right next to me, so it would have been awkward to strike up a conversation. I would need to approach him outside.

When the man checked out, he spoke with an accent and was not fluent in his English. He was my intended contact. Making such a cold approach can be awkward, but I have learned that when there is a discernable "tug" there is someone to be contacted, and it is always a "good thing." This indeed turned out good.

By the time I checked out and went outside, he was still gassing up his taxi. I approached respectfully and found out he was from Nigeria and spoke Yoruba. Unfortunately, I had not stocked my car with the Yoruba Gospel Fundamentals. I had some reprinted (with church permission) at Staples, but needed to add a page that got left out. I had been lazy and let it sit around instead of finishing it. Here was an opportunity, and I was not fully prepared.

I gave him my card and asked him to call me, and said I would get one of our Yoruba church books to him. He gave me his name and extended his hand. He was happy to talk to someone who was interested in his language, and it was a pleasant encounter and not awkward at all. He asked the name of the church and where it was. His taxi company name and phone number were on the outside of the taxi, so I can follow up.

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