It was towards the end of French class this morning. Many kids had completed the assignment and free time beckoned. A girl came up to me and suggested that I start up Duolingo, the French app on my phone which is helping me prepare for Senegal, where I’ll be with children who only speak French. Duolingo is très cool, announcing my successes with a little trumpet blast.
I sat on the edge of a table with a girl on each side. They often chimed in with the correct answer to a question, and sometimes pressed the screen to make my word choices for me. A little bit of me thought “Wait a minute. It’s my app. I’m the one who has to learn this stuff.” But that melted away like the first snowfall of the season.
The three of us were together. It didn’t really matter what the topic was – studying French would do nicely. Beyond the task, we were simply having fun, and enjoying each other’s presence. Other than a few comments about the French terms, not a word was spoken. Words weren’t needed.
The girls were eleven. I’m sixty-nine. No problem. Just human beings wanting to share a few moments with other human beings.