The pieces slowly come together…


The mother-in-law of my landlord (we call her Granny) lives below me, so I talk to her and her housemaid (Nila) daily.  I always had a hard time communicating with Nila.  She always used words I almost knew in ways I didn’t.  And whenever I talked, she just nodded and smiled.  I always tried to write stuff down and ask people what she meant to try to improve my Sinhala so I could communicate with her better.  Due to some sudden circumstances, she went to her hometown last week and might not be coming back for a while.  So, a new person came yesterday to help Granny around the house.  She was introduced to me as, “This is Sujata.  Now you finally have someone else to speak Sinhala to.  Nila wasn’t good at Sinhala at all.”  I knew she was Tamil, but I didn’t know she didn’t speak Sinhala at all.  No matter how much I studied, it wasn’t going to solve our communications issues.  I also didn’t know Granny knew Tamil…



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