One of my weekly duties here at Oasis is to host the Wednesday morning beginners and advanced German Classes. I arrive at around 8:00 am to set the rooms up, prepare the huge urn of spiced chai and get the coffee machines going. Then, as refugees begin to arrive for the 9:00 am start, I welcome them in and try if possible to engage them in a little conversation before they take their seats at their desks.
This week I got chattng to a man from Syria who told me, amongs other things, that he had eight children who were back at the camp with his wife. It was at this point that I introduced him to our programme of activities for the week and specifically highlighted the Wednesday afternoon 'Chai Time' - a social/craft event especially for the refugee ladies.
His response was a sad little smile of acknowledgement at Oasis' interest in refugee women, and he once again explained that he had eight children. My suggestion that he could take care of his children for an hour or two that afternoon to give opportunity for his wife to come along, produced what I can only describe as a 'Manuel from Fawlty Towers' moment! You might recall his 'Que?' response, and the confused almost incredulous look on his face ......?
Well, the look on my new friend's face at the very thought of me suggesting he might take care of his children to allow his wife some 'time off' was a picture of stunned, bemused puzzlement! He then decided that the idea was so completely ludicrous that I was obviously joking!
Slapping me on the arm with a loud guffaw, he left to join his class, chuckling at the ridiculous humour of this crazy Englishman! 🤪