We are fairly settled into our new summer routine now, the boys are in the pool at least twice a day and have become firm friends with the other children in the community.
The children are around 7-9 years old and I’ve noticed that they will try to talk to the boys in French first, then attempt Arabic (Moroccan Arabic – Darija) before settling on English. They often assume the boys are American to which B will say ‘No, I’m human!’, their English is good enough to ask them how they’re enjoying their holiday, if they like Morocco and their conversations range from general chit chat to organising poolside games.
On the one hand I’m impressed, on the other I’m embarrassed. There’s no way I could attempt to have a conversation in French or Arabic at that level, let alone the boys. Yes, I’ve picked up a few phrases here and there to get by and exchange some pleasantries with shopkeepers but that doesn’t really cut it in the grand scheme of things.
It’s really opened my eyes to how some of us in the English speaking world take it for granted that we will always find somebody that can speak English wherever we are in the world, so what’s the point in learning the lingo? I have to start thinking about what I’m going to do for the boys education soon – language will definitely factor in any decision I make.