Saturday, June 17, 2006

Moment #608. Yoruba at Meijer. Sat, Jun 17, 2006.

06/17/2006. I went to an office supply store to photocopy fliers for church. On the way back home I decided to shop for groceries. I usually go to Kroger, but as I passed by Meijer, it drew my attention. But Kroger also stood out in my mind. I got confused and wondered which one I was being "tugged" to or to both. Since Meijer "stood out" at first, I decided to go there first.

No sooner had I stepped in, when I saw an African man getting a balloon for his little child. I stopped, waited for him to finish, and as we made eye contact, I asked him where he was from. He said Nigeria. I asked if he spoke Igbo or Yoruba. He said Yoruba. I said "Mo le so Yuruba die'" which means "I only speak a little Yoruba." He stood there wide-eyed for a second, so I extended my hand and said "Kurole" which means "good afternoon." He shook my hand, and I said my name. He understood me the first time, and was genuinely pleased and amazed to meet someone who spoke even a few words of his language. I admitted those where the only Yoruba words I knew.

After greeting, I offered him a free book in Yoruba from my church, I said I'd bring it in from my car, if he wanted. He asked which church, so I told him. His wife came over at that point. He accepted, so I got the Yoruba and English Gospel Fundamentals from my car. He was still waiting when I got back, and eagerly and graciously accepted the material. He said he worked in missionary work for another church, and had lived in the same apartment complex as LDS missionaries in Nigeria. He gave me his card.

We chit-chatted a bit more, and I thanked him for the opportunity to speak Yoruba.

I went to go look for the frozen vegetables that I wanted to use to make stir-fry, and they weren't on sale, so I knew I'd have to go to Kroger to get them.

As I walked back out to the car, not having bought anything, I was hit by the "wow-ness" of the moment. The whole side-trip was just to meet him.

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