Saturday, August 20, 2005


Most mornings in Winneba we wake to the distant sounds of the local police academy having their target practice. It seems that they start around 7am and go a couple hours. The first time we heard them we thought that we were hearing firecrackers, but today we took a walk along a dirt road that follows the coastline, and it brought us to the "Police Clinic" and the target practice in action. Luckily, the gunshots aren't so loud as to wake us up in the morning.

So today I collected speech data from my 23rd informant, a 14-year-old girl who first talked to me by asking: "Please, I want to be your friend." This seems to be a common phrase that people in Winneba use with Obronis, although we hadn't gotten much of it in other parts of Ghana. Interestingly, this was the most common phrase that students at Yunnan Normal University (in Kunming, China, where I spent a semester) would use with foreigners. Unfortunately, actually becoming friends with the person is a different matter. I think this same girl thought that I was a new student at the university here, and seemed disappointed to hear that I was leaving on Wednesday. On the other hand, we sat with her at a Spot for about half an hour, and conversation wasn't exactly easy. I guess I'm just not 14 anymore!


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