Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Moment #520. Amharic at parking garage. Tue, Jan 31, 2006

01/31/2006. I entered a downtown parking garage, and the attendant told me it was pre-pay. He was an African-looking man and spoke with an accent. I decided to speak with him when I came back if he was still on duty.

After the event I entered the parking garage on foot, and saw another man at the booth, and saw the first man walking from the attendant area to the parking area. I only had a couple seconds to act. I got his attention and asked if he spoke French. He did not. I asked where he was from and he said Ethiopia. I asked if he spoke Amharic and he said yes. I excitedly said I had a book in Amharic in my car, that it was from my church and was free. I asked if he liked to read in Amharic and he said yes. I offered to give him a free copy, and he agreed. He was parked on the first floor and I was on the third so I asked him to wait for me and I'd bring it down.

I walked calmly into the stairwell, then ran up the stairs, went to my car, got Amharic and English copies out of my trunk, and drove perhaps a little too fast down to the ground level. I parked my car near his and he got out of his car, and I presented the Amharic copy of the Book of Mormon. We chit-chatted a little about it, and he also accepted the English copy to go with it.

He helped me practice a few words in Amharic. He recognized the words I learned from one of my CD's. His dialect and pronunciation was closer to the speaker on the CD than the last person I practiced with, so I was a little relieved. He seemed pleased at my efforts. I said my name and number were in the books, and asked him to call me if any of his friends wanted copies.

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