Monday, August 31, 2009

explaining a litter box to a refugee family

Today with Tee Reh and Soh Meh, the Burmese refugees that we are teaching ESL, we were running through worksheets on the topic of kitchen and appliances. It was pretty funny trying to explain it all to people that are used to very limited cooking options. Among the vocab words: blender, coffee grinder, bread maker, rice cooker, microwave, toaster...

Hah, at each one Tee Reh would grasp the concept and then shake his head and say, "yes, I don't have that", with a tone that said "I really don't NEED that, what are you people thinking!" He said, "Americans, you like machines!" haha!

I mean, we asked him if he knew what a blender was and he said, "it's like a knife?" Yes, indeed, except it's big and it chops things up in a big cup. Okay check, got it. Next up - coffee grinder. Well, that is exactly the same as a blender, except for coffee beans only. Hah... Tee Reh just shook his head. The concept of a microwave makes him laugh every time we talk about it - he thinks it's so ridiculous that we need ANOTHER machine to heat our food, on top of our oven. Then on top of that we have toasters, just to heat up our bread, because our microwaves and ovens aren't good enough.

Best of all - we came on a sentence that talked about a litter box. Oh that was just perfect - explaining that Americans keep pets inside and don't let them go outside because it's dangerous, so they create a device so the animals can use the toilet inside. Hah! Tee Reh was aghast. Isaac and I had a good laugh at our own crazy culture.

When we asked them what food they buy at the store here, they said rice, meat, and chili sauce. They said that they buy beef and pork, but Tee Reh said, "Your American chicken... I no like... it is not delicious." haha - thank you, overstuffed, pumped full of hormones American chicken. I remember LOVING loving chicken in Indonesia.

5 comments:

This Heavenly Life said...

I've never thought about how to describe a kitty litter box - strange indeed! How spoiled we seem. No, not seem...how spoiled we ARE. Glad you've had a good weekend :)

Now, about that blueberry buckle...

Kaycee said...

Haha. I'm the queen of frivolous kitchen gadgets, no litter box though.

Sarah Eliza @ devastateboredom said...

Wowww good reality check, right? Things sound like they're going really well... I'm so glad for you!

Sturgmom said...

Nothing like a little perspective, right?

Glad y'all are enjoying your community!

Suzywoozy said...

Nice post! I faced a lot of these perspective things when i was teaching a school in a village.. I live in an Indian city.