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Negotiating the Magic Words

Negotiating the Magic Words

Saturday March 4, 2006, 3:38 PM
I entered into negotiations, finally finagled the word from Tyiana.
- Please -

I have been here on the Island of Anguilla now for 7 days and 6 nights, however the day I arrived, I started negotiating the friendships. Today, I finally have got a little further down the line, too bad I leave tomorrow morning early for St Martin on the Ferry.

This is Tyiana, she is 7, likes popcorn and for the word, - Please - I shared my second ice cream container of popcorn with her and I am not sure whom. I gave the room a bucket full a couple of days ago, they have been saying hello or nodding the head a lot at me, however not much of a conversation.

She jumped up on the counter to wait for the popcorn to finish popping. The counter has way too many ants on for me to ever jump on that counter. I have no idea when the adorable look was replace with that look.

Hehehe, I caught the good look with this photo, she is prancing around in the room, likes to have he photo taken, I have nothing better to do as the popcorn is popping and I am having fun.

Ok this is how it works, I have been walking to and from the Casa Nadine�s guesthouse for day, I did not know the little girls name, I just say hello as she passes me by. Nonetheless, she is quiet and inquisitive, she caught me working on my computer and walked into the room, then back out quickly. I said,
- Computer -

She is not sure what to do or say to me, I would guess, we are negotiating a friendship. I have been doing this with everyone in the building, making great progress with the carpenter guy from Dominica that cooks every night at the same time as me. It is not normal that it takes this long to find some common ground, however what can you do, it takes time for people to trust you.

I asked here today, day 6, what is your name, she kept saying something, I finally got her to write it down. It is Tyiana, first time for that name for me, not sure, where they found or discovered that one. The girl is short on word, or maybe we do not speak the same English, I am not sure she can understand me; I cannot understand her unless she repeats it three times. Difficult to negotiate when you are not on the same page.

She is a good girl, most of the persons in the guesthouse are great people, not trying to cause and problems, just working on something, labor is paid about three times the going rate for the rest of the Caribbean Islands.

Pursed her lips, I swear to capture the perfect faces, you need to take about 50 photos like a machine gun, this is interesting, how to take photos. She is curious, poses here, than instantly grabs at camera to see her photo on the little TV screen.

We have settled on negotiations, she acknowledges me, I say hello to her, she is asking a few questions, and I am answering hers. I finagled a
- Thank you - from her for the popcorn.

Culture, my mother wants me to say please and thank you, therefore, I say please, thank you, excuse me and comments like that. I use them even though often I know I am getting jaded. I feel this is simple, and why does the world not see this, it is simple to say please, thank you and your welcome.

Should an older person encourage a young 7 year old to say please and Thank You, in another culture than you own?

The bottom line is this, I do not stop being me, expecting manners, hoping the world is good, and giving popcorn or sharing my popcorn. Not a big deal just is what it is.
Thank You Tyiana, nice to meet you. Glad I took the time, well worth it here in Anguilla to stay in the Casa Nadine's Guesthouse. Many would say this is ludicrous, however after almost a month and one-half I have finally met a couple of normal type persons in the Caribbean. I paid the price, bored out of my mind, three books read in one week, however a complete immersion into a world I want to understand. I have to walk about one mile to go anywhere close here in Anguilla, quite a pain to move around on an island with zero public tranporation other than extreme tourist grade taxis.