Last year I started taking my 8th grade class to Teranga, a small West African restaurant owned by Mor Diallo on the outskirts of Wyoming. I really like this place because it is like mini Africa: dishes are simple and authentic, price is cheap, and best of all, a huge West African population comes in and out of the restaurant, speaking French, Wolof, Bambara, Arabic, and some English.
But today’s visit was REALLY special: I always say “bonjour” as customers come in and strike a conversation with them. We often exchange about where we come from and how long we have been in the US. Today, two customers from Mauritania started talking to my students in French, asking simple questions but without slowing down. The kids were very intimidated but they opened up and even muttered a few comprehensible answers It was so cool to watch. Then the Mauritanians bought them a bag of “beignets” (doughnuts) to share.
On the bus coming back, everyone said how cool the whole thing was, even my “usually not so enthusiastic about French kids” said they had a great time 🙂
So I am going to rate this field trip “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and next year I will actually ask a few customers to speak with my students, if it does not happen spontaneously.
My students enjoying chicken skewers with chef’s spices, rice, plantain, and cabbage.
They drank guava juice.