Sunday, February 26, 2012

Literacy & Buying a Small Saw

This is a portion of the Duala street market. I noticed one lady had a stand of tools. I was looking for a small saw. So, we stopped to see what she had. She had a saw I wanted.
We paid her and told her that we needed a receipt. I made out the receipt and asked her to sign it. She laughed and said no. I explained that all I needed was her signature. She said she couldn't. I wasn't understanding what she meant. Then she grabbed the receipt and ran off. A few minutes later, she came back with her name printed on the receipt by someone who knew her. I realized then that she could not write her name.
So, I gave her the pen and had her trace over the letters of her name. Afterwards, she jumped up and clapped her hands and laughed and laughed. I thought maybe this was the first time in her life she had ever written anything.

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