Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Radio Show

For your entertainment I am including a sample of the health skits that we perform on our “Health Hour” Radio show every other Tuesday in the Matam region. It has been translated from Pulaar to English. It’s just to give you an idea of the level of “sophistication” of the kinds of health subjects we cover. I find them about a thousand times more entertaining when I read through the English version. It always sounds so ridiculous. But the message is what’s important and it really is a great way to reach a wide audience. Whenever we walk out of the radio station people always tell us that they listened or they’ll recite back to us some of what they heard. It feels great, that though the behavior might be slow, at least we’re getting the information out.

Narrator: Binta has a cold. Her head hurts and she coughs and sneezes a lot. She talks to her friend Hawa. Hawa gives her advice.
(Person coughing n sneezing)

Hawa: Binta how are you? Do you have a cold?
Binta: Peace only. Yes I have a cold. How are you?
Hawa: I’m fine Praise be to God. How are you doing with the tiredness?
Binta: I am in it. How is your house?
Hawa: They are all fine praise be to God. But Binta, I am so sorry. Are you sick?
Binta: Thank you Hawa. Having a cold is painful.
Hawa: You speak the truth Binta. I am very sorry
Binta: Every year when the wind comes I get a cold. My head hurts, I cough and sneeze a lot, and I am very tired. How can I prevent catching a cold?
Hawa: I am sorry Binta, I understand. Well, you can prevent catching a cold. Every day, before you eat, you must wash your hands with clean water and soap.
Binta: Why with soap? When I eat I wash my hands with water only.
Hawa: No Binta, water only is bad. Water alone does not kill germs. Soap kills germs which is very important because germs bring sicknesses like colds.
Binta: Huh? Really?
Hawa: Yes really. So if a person has a cold and coughs and sneezes a lot, he can spread his germs a lot in the lunch bowl or around the house. It is very important for a person with a cold to wash his hands often. Also, he must remember not to cough or sneeze on other people.
Binta: Thank you Hawa, you are good. I really understand now.
Hawa: But Binta, now because you do have a cold, you should eat lots of Vitamin C.
Binta: What’s Vitamin C?
Hawa: Vitamin C is a very good vitamin for curing and preventing colds. There is Vitamin C in oranges, lemons, tomatoes, Fosters, and mangoes.
Binta: Good. I am very happy, I like to eat all of those things! But Hawa, I think that the wind brings my colds. Do I speak the truth or not?
Hawa: Yes because if you have a cold, lots of wind and sand are very bad. It is better to avoid the wind. And to help cure your cold you should get lots of rest and drink lots of water to help the cold leave your body.
Binta: Thank you so much Hawa. Now I am going to rest, and not go outside because there is so much wind. I am going to drink lots of water and eat lots of Vitamin C and I will wash my hands with soap because I do not want to share my cold and my germs with other people.
Hawa: Good Binta, I am very happy. See you next time.
Binta: You are good Hawa. I greet your family.

I hope you all found that as funny as I do. Maybe some of you can come up with slightly more creative skits, but we’ve found that simplicity and repetition are paramount to people’s understanding and ability to commit our lessons to memory.


Emily said...

Thank you so much for your blog. I am leaving for Senegal in March with the Peace Corps. Do you have any suggestions about what I should bring with me or learn about before coming?

Caitlin said...

Emily, welcome, bienvenue, bismillah! I'm really looking forward to meeting you. Please feel free to send me an email and ask a whole bunch of specific questions so i can answer them for you. I know i had a zillion questions before i left and it was so helpful to hear from people who were there. my email is caitlingive@gmail.com
Looking forward to hearing from you!