06 March 2008

Ba-last-iic?

We were out at our training center and had just finished staff meeting. A few of the kids from the neighboring compound were hanging around and saw that we had a baby in a carrier that we were putting in the car. They were asking me questions and all I could understand was the word "ba-last-iic" (plastic). I asked my local friend "what are they asking?" I thought they were asking about his plastic carrier, thinking it was some kind of funny plastic basket or something.

But no. She said "They think the baby is plastic." Seriously? They thought my son was made of plastic.

They hadn't ever seen a foreign baby, but they had seen light-skinned baby dolls. So, they just assumed that since he was a baby with light skin, that he must have been made of plastic like the doll babies for sale in the market.

I assured them that he was not plastic but they did not believe me. I coaxed them one by one to climb into the car with the snoozing baby and touch his skin. Once they got over their fear of climbing into the foreigner's car and they touched the pale skin of his chubby little leg... they finally agreed that indeed, the baby was not made of plastic. He was real.

And then we laughed all the way home...

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