Friday, November 13, 2009

Cousin Dennis


Dennis is funny. He is one of those people. You know the ones who are very quiet and seems so serious all the time but whenever they says anything everyone laughs. That is Dennis. The only problem with this is that Dennis doesn’t speak much English so I never know what is so funny. Okay, well he probably understands more than I give him credit, but since he doesn’t talk often it is rare that he ever uses English. Sometimes they will translate what he has said so I can join in the laughter. I am usually laughing anyways already just because once you get Ida going there is no stopping her and her laugh is contagious.

So here is a Dennis story from last night…

Sarah was getting some tea to drink with her Dinner. We recently ran out of the tea we usually use and so she had to get out a tea bag. She was saying something in Luganda, complaining I am sure, and then Dennis pipes up from the dinning room, where he was sipping some tea of his own, and makes a comment. Immediately Sarah starts busting a gut. Once she regains composure she tells me what he has said. Supposedly while she was complaining about have to dig around for a tea bag Dennis said, “Why don’t you just use the tea bag I just used, it’s not like I put it in my mouth.” Okay, so it doesn’t sound as funny now as I write it, but it is just the whole expression and tone of voice when he was saying it. One of those, you-had-to-be-there moments I guess.

Most of my interactions with Dennis are in the morning on my way to the latrine when he greets me by saying, “yes Hanna, how are you?” Our other interaction is usually when he comes back from school in the evenings. I welcome him back with a Luganda phrase (not even going to try to spell it). He then replies again, “yes Hanna, shanks you (thank you).” I am not sure why but he ALWAYS starts with, “yes Hanna.” It is like he is acknowledging my existence or something. I love it. I also love that he says shanks you instead of thank you. That about sums up our relationship. Oh, cousin Dennis.