Friday, July 28, 2006

Mark El Polo

We've been going to the swimming pool six days a week, often for several hours at a time. As a result, we meet many interesting people there, especially Sudanese children. I have never, in all my time here, seen an adult Sudanese woman swim. Anyway, a few of the Sudanese children always seem interested in the games we play. When we got here first we played Marco Polo all the time. Four children, intrigued, asked to join. We agreed immediately, because the more the merrier is the rule for Marco Polo. The first of the Sudanese to be tagged was the younger boy. He was very excited at being 'Marco', once we explained what he had to do. After counting to ten, he came up and shouted 'Markel!' We answered with the traditional 'Polo', which he joined. He did not seem to understand us, or else he didn't care, when we explained that he did not say Polo, we did. Marco Polo sounded distinctly Spanish. When we left, we heard behind us the telltale calls of 'Mark El Polo!'
Just yesterday we brought four swimming rings to the pool. We took turns hiding them in the pool, taking as long as needed, as the others closed their eyes. After three of four rounds of this, a young Sudanese boy who called himself 'Achmed', said he wanted to play. When we agreed, he promptly shut his eyes to wait. When we were told to open our eyes, Achmed didn't understand. It seemed he did not understand the game, either, as all he did was swim from one side of the pool to the other, waiting, apparently, for the game to end. Not surprisingly, he never found a ring.

1 comment:

Nathan said...

I'll bet that, though it was hard to the find the rings, it was probably easy to find Mark El Polo.