Friday, February 17, 2006

A Rose By Any Other Name...

Okay, it's time to 'fess up. I've talked before about adventures in English and the trouble we have understanding and being understood, so in our defense, let me say that we were having to translate from the Lebanese accented English to Ghanaian accented English with our American accented English ears. You with me?

Our houseboy, who doesn't do house stuff and isn't a boy, is also not named Mack. His name, bless his little pea pickin' heart, is Mark.

He answered us for four months as we wandered around the yard or knocked on the Boys' Quarters door, saying:

"Mack! Yoohoo! Oh, Mack!"

He apparently thought we were eccentric. Or just rude. But we had the right consonants and he wasn't going to correct us and be rude in return.

Then we got a note about some household stuff from him signed,

"Thanks, Mark."


It took a few weeks of us saying "Mack-Mark" every time we talked to or about him, but he is finally being called by his real name around here.

This is our Mark:

And while we're on the subject of the people who make our lives here so easy and help us so much, here is Stephen (our Day Guard) and CodyBill the dog:

And once again, our Duke, once again with CodyBill the dog:

Remember, as you look at these last two photos, that Ghanaians are not particularly comfy with dogs (think back to the night they flew in to Accra and we cleared the tarmac by opening CodyBill's crate!). The first time Stephen saw the dogs, he went quickly, but with dignity, into the guard house and firmly shut the door. The first time Duke saw them he actually hopped a fence to get away from them. They both have copies of these pictures with which to amaze their friends and family.

Poor Mark is their new best friend. If we let the dogs out and then can't find them, we know to look in the boys' quarters where they are bound to be hanging out, hoping for a head pat or food handout. Sometimes when he hears us calling for them, Mark will march them back around the yard to the front door, and they just stand by him and look at us like innocent children with that "What?" expression on their fuzzy faces.