Laughter triumphs barriers
This is a glimpse of what it looks like as a team interacts with the kids with a language barrier. The barrier is evident but doesn’t seem to stop any laughter.
“It was time to feed the kids dinner, and in an effort to entertain a couple of them I sat down on the concrete floor by them as we were waiting for the food to come. They eat late at night (about 8:30 PM) and sit on the floor in a large room.
I sat by Parvithra and Priya. Parvithra has a foot that is deformed. It doesn’t sit flat on the floor, so she has to drag it behind her. Pravithra is about 21 or 22 years old and is finishing up college (she is going to be a teacher). Priya is 15 years old, but if you saw her, you would think she is around 8 years old. I am guessing that she is about 4 foot tall. Both girls are beautiful young ladies and they both have such gracious spirits.
Anyway, while we were waiting for food, we always try to come up with something to do. I thought I would have Parvithra, teach me how to count to five in Kanada, their native language. Now, as I mentioned, it is 8:30 at night, we have all had long days and so we were all a little giddy. Parvithra, would patiently pronounce the Kanada version of each number, while I mis-pronounced it and Priya would roll on the ground in laughter at my pronunciation. Pravithra would shoot a teacherly glance at Priya to let her know that she was distracting me. Believe me, it is much harder to learn the pronunciation than you would think. They say their words quickly and there are sounds and enunciations that we don’t use in our English language. Parvithra showed amazing patience as she walked me through each number. Priya observed from the sidelines finding great delight as I would utter something that did not sound like anything intelligible.
The lesson continued until dinner was served. It took enough time that I finally was able to count to five in Kanada. We shared laughter and learning that overcame any language barrier.
I realized that as we sat on a concrete floor, in a bare room, waiting for rice and curry, we were able to share a joy that was memorable. We did not need much in the way of material items to experience God’s love and joy. This was one of the many experiences that created a strong bond between us (the team members) and the kids”. –Jeff Gouge