Monday, July 18, 2011


One way to sustain our memories of relatives and friends who have passed away is to retell the stories that they shared with us.  This is among my favorites, as told by one of my best of friends Ron Wisner.

"After graduating from college, I joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to Niger.  Although my French was pretty good, I had to work hard on my Hausa.  Because I love to run, I of course took along my running shoes and appropriate attire.  Soon after arriving in the country, I hopped the fence and headed down a country road for a long run.  I passed many folks - workers in fields, folks tending livestock and people carrying various things on their way to and from the village.  Several times I heard people call out what sounded like a friendly greeting - "aikin banzo." So when I returned to my home-away-from-home, I mentioned to one of my native co-workers that several folks had greeted me with a salutatory "aikin banzo" that I had taken as a Hausa "hello."  My friend smiled and held back a chuckle.  He informed me that it was not a greeting but rather a commentary on my running - "aikin banzo" translates as 'worthless work'."

So, whenever I encounter chores that seem like worthless work, I invoke Ron's story about aikin banzo.


RK said...

Doug - Great story about Ron. Thanks for keeping him in our thoughts. I miss him so. What a special soul.

Phil L. said...

You need to send that post to Jim Wallis.

Dr S said...

Phil L - I will let you pass it along to Jimbo :-) For unknown reasons, I seemed to have been dropped from the weekly Sojourners e-letter; maybe they found out that I converse with folks like you, Bizzy Brain, et al.!!!