Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Today, at the lady's Bible study that I babysit for, there was this little girl, Camille (pronounced Cammie) that could only speak French. Now this turned out to be a bit of a problem since none of the workers spoke very much french. I spoke the most french and I'd only taken french for two years in school so that shows you how little we knew. She was so sweet and adorable but so quiet. During our game time she started crying and mumbling something in french.I rubbed her back for a while, humming softly in her ear. now we didn't have a clue what she was saying and I'm sure we looked like idiots, motioning with our hands while we tried to guess what she was saying. Fortunatly, one of the mom's from the study knew french so she came to our rescue. Turned out that Camille was fine, just wanted to go home. We distracted her with a snack and I, using the small amount of french in my vocabulary, figured out she wanted goldfish and juice. Next we played playdough, Camille never leaving my side. I watched her as she carefully smoothed out her ball of purple playdough and cut out a shape. She held it up to me once she was finished, wanting me to admire her hard work. "Tres Bien!" I said, using one of the french words I knew quite well, and tapped her on the nose. That's when it happened. It was nothing big, nothing world changing, but just then Camille started to laugh. Just a small laugh but she laughed all the same. I helped her make another shape and, again, when she handed me the shape I smiled, tapped her on the nose and said "Tres Bien!" and again I was rewarded with her angelic giggle. We countinued this game for a while, with me tapping her little nose and being rewarded by her sweet laugh. Then came a challenge, she let out a string of French words. For a minuet I was lost, until I noticed her runny nose. I hopped up, grabbed a kleenex and wiped her nose. And she replied with her wide smile that reached her eyes. We played our game for a few more minuets before her friend's mom, she came with her friend, showed up. She squealed and ran towards her friend's mom's legs, grabbing on and holding tight. I was walking out the door after all the children had gone home and I saw tiny Camille peaking out from behind a post. I stepped closer and knelt down. "Ourevouir Camille" I touched her back. "Ourevouir" She said. I had no clue what Camille said but we found our own language, laughter. It can be a bridge between to cultures, as I learned today. hearing sweet Camille's laughter was the highlight of my day. I didn't know her language, and she didn't know mine, but we were able to communicate using the one voice we both knew. we both knew how to laugh, and that's what we did, together.