Excelling in linguistics
Hanna has come from Switzerland to do a short-term assignment in Western Africa.
Chad is my second home. Since I grew up there, I always wanted to go back one day. I wanted to see the country and the people again. But it’s not so easy to go to Chad as a tourist. Moreover, I wanted to stay longer and tackle a meaningful task. That’s exactly what I found.
My main task is to take care of the family’s children so that the parents have time to learn the language. From time to time I help around the house. I also like to go with them to the market or on visits.
Often in this culture I don’t know what is expected of me. And then, of course, there is the language barrier. This is a new situation for me and sometimes I get frustrated.
The cool temperatures, wifi, the washing machine, sometimes my family and friends….
My culture is completely different from the Chadian one, and the risk of misunderstanding is great. I believe that the first step towards rapprochement is to step back into the role of observer, not jumping to judgment too quickly. The Chadians are a role model for us Westerners when it comes to friendships and maintaining relationships. I also see how important Wycliffe’s work in literacy is, because education is the gateway to the world.
Thank you so much, Hanna!
(Interview, October 2017)