Yet I have been pleasantly surprised by the interest Anemo has taken already, even if some of it is subconscious. For instance, last week while playing a game on the living room floor with his good friend Yoyo, a boy also adopted from Ethiopia, Anemo began absentmindedly repeating the same Amharic word—mawuk'—over and over again. (Simultaneously, Yoyo was singing the instrumental riff from Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke," making for an interesting counterpoint.) I think the word stuck in Anemo's head because of the distinctive click sound on the 'k', known properly as a velar ejective. After saying the word a number of times, Anemo looked up and asked, "What does that word even mean?" Good question. I had to go back to my elevator speech to find the answer. Anemo's curiosity helped reinforce an important Amharic word.
|mawuk' means "to know"|
|Anemo slowly becoming "Amharic Boy"|
|Haile's translation of my elevator speech|
|Taddesse Haile, owner/manager of the Oasis Café|