The Education of Daizy Mae Thomas Part II
It has been a joy to be with Daizy Thomas, a precocious 8-year-old and her new mother, KB Thomas.
They’ve been a joy to us as they await Daizy’s U.S. Passport. (Please pray that this process will finish soon. KB has been in country since November 30.) Update: They’ve got the passport and are awaiting a visa before flying to Pineville, LA.
I love teasing Daizy.
This week’s it’s been about the letter Z.
We Americans (where Daizy will soon live) pronounce the last letter of the alphabet as “Zee.”
However, in the UK and former British colonies, they call it “Zed.”
I tell Daizy she’s going to have to change Zed to Zee.
Then I sing the ditty that most of us used to learn the alphabet.
It’s to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” (or rather “Twinkle Twinkle” is to the tune of “The Alphabet Song.”)
Regardless, it runs through a, b, c, d, e, f, g
h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o
p, q, r, s, t, u, v,
w, x, and zed.
It just loses something with the zed.
As they say over here, it doesn’t quite translate.
This week a new guard was in our compound. I introduced myself
to him and asked, “What is your name?”
“Ezra. Do you spell it E-Zee-R-A?”
He shook his head. No. I spell it E-Zed-R-A.”
That is what I call him. E-ZED-ra.
* * *
I love the t-shirts of Africa. Every castoff that survived an appearance at Goodwill or the Salvation Army eventually makes it over here.
It’s born again and has a long well-used life here.
Recently in the South Sudanese capital of Juba, I spied a boda-boda (motorcycle) driver with a ZZ Top shirt.
I pointed him out to one of my African friends. “Look, he’s wearing a Zed Zed Top shirt.”
It didn’t translate very well.
My friend asked, “What’s a Zed-Zed-Top?”
How do you explain about a little ol’ band from Texas who wore Duck-Dynasty beards long before Willie was born, sang about a sharp dressed man and are still rocking along in their late sixties?
As they say, it just doesn’t translate very well.
A serious note among the foolishness: I wonder about the Juba Boda Boda driver. I took his photo in September 2013. I wonder how he fared during the fighting in December. Is he Dinka, Nuer, or other? Is he still in Juba?
I’m praying for him as I write.