Saturday, September 19, 2015

The magic of the vanishing Afghans

It was early 2014.
Two men in their twenties introduced themselves as Afghan nationals, translators at a mammoth international hospital chain in the capital city. There were many patients of Afghani origin,who were being treated in these hospitals, and they helped such patients communicate with the doctors and vice versa. They wanted to improve their English.
Paid upfront.
While their English was of the passable kind, they were excellent communicators, which actually makes focussed language improvement and error correction through drills a little hard.
I was only fairly satisfied with their improvement, although we spoke a lot and worked a little bit on writing.
They spoke of their country with great love, and about how looking at the sophisticated hospitals in India shocked them, because it made them aware of how backward their country was. They lamented the fact that very little was actually being manufactured in their country, and how they imported almost everything.
They kept asking the administrator to give them ID cards so that they could satisfy the authorities about where they were. So the language centre printed student ID cards for them and gave it to them, ten days after they joined classes.

They took the ID cards, smiled and thanked us, and never returned.

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