Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Moment #519. Amharic at laundromat. Tue, Jan 31, 2006.

01/31/2006. I needed to do laundry this afternoon. I was planning on going to the laundromat a little farther away, which is cleaner, is no-smoking and a little cheaper than the closer one. But while driving past the closer one, I felt "the tug" indicating I should do my laundry there.

Shortly after I got there an Ethiopian looking lady with two daughters came in. And shortly after them, two more Ethiopian ladies came in who looked like recent immigrants. I recognized the latter two from having given them Amharic copies of the Book of Mormon before.

The latter two ladies had a discussion over one of the washers, and it looked like they needed help, so I pointed out to the attendant that they might need help. Then I realized the first Ethiopian lady, who looked very Amercanized could also probably help them, so I asked her if she spoke Amharic. She said yes, and I pointed out the other two ladies who might need help with a washer.

It turned out the two ladies didn't need help anyway, but it was a nice ice-breaker. I saw the three of them conversing later.

The first lady was busy helping her daughters with home-work so I didn't want to interrupt. But later as I was taking my last group of clothes out to the car, she was getting some stuff out of a dryer nearby, and that was a chance to approach her. I held out the Amharic Book of Mormon and asked if she had seen it before. She showed interest in it and asked about it.

It turned out she wasn't from Ethiopia, but from Eritrea, the neighboring country which used to be a part of Ethiopia. Their native language is Tigrinya, but she spoke Amharic too, and could read it a little bit. Those two languages use the same alphabet.

She graciously accepted the Amharic and the English Book of Mormon. The daughters were curious too.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home