Mawael our incredibly patient Amharic teacher just left and Jessie and are yet again on the couch here staring at each other completely tongue tied.  I am sure there are hundreds of people out there reading this that are way better at learning languages than we are, but for some reason the two of feel like chimpanzees trying to learn to play saxophone. We can hear the sounds, but we just can’t seem to make them ourselves.

It does not help that Amharic is one of the hardest languages in the world to learn, or that when you do finally venture out and speak what few words you know, everyone in the street just looks at you funny.

“Shint-a-bit alleh?”   We ask, pointing our fingers in various directions with a puzzled look on our faces.


“Shint-a-bit alleh?” We repeat, crossing our legs trying to get the point across.


“Do you have a bathroom?”  We finally ask in english.

“Yes”  They reply pointing down the hall, leaving us wondering why we even tried Amharic in the first place.

My favorite was when I said something to a friend in Amharic and he told me that I sounded like a baby trying to form words.

I so badly want to learn more, to be able to make my way around town with less sign language and more actual words, but this language…

Oh, this language…