Visiting Lalibela

Visiting Lalibela

Monday, September 14, 2009

Gavin speaking in Benchi

Gavin has been sharing some words in Benchi with us the past 2 weeks. Benchi is the dialect spoken in his village of Benchi Maji, Ethiopia. It is a remote village 20 hours southwest of Addis Ababa. It's amazing, though, as his English improves, his memory of Benchi is quickly leaving him. As you can see, he had to be reminded of some of the words he told us just last week. You might wonder why some of these words are included, like avocado-- he has told us that the kids would get avocados out of trees and eat them. It's one of his favorite foods.
We made this video as a way to help him remember some of his words and help other children, adopted from Benchi communicate with their parents. We'll keep working on it over the next few weeks. Here's our attempt at spelling these words the way he tells them to us.

Cow: dyant
Horse: par
Dog: kan
Snake: sahmbaht
Chicken: ahch
Cat: clue
Fish: oru
Bird: cop
Mouse: oots
Water: soh
Egg: gamool
Milk: Keej
Avocado: abacada
Sky: char
Tree: inch
Lake: Dahma
Store: Gahmahmenenohay
Car: mahkin
Grass: tarap
House: khet
Light: mahbrot
Chair: gahleep
School: tamoorahnaway
Pencil: payna
Fire: tahm
Sit: wogo
Dad: Habaou
Mom: Hiyouay
Potty: bo (short o)
Throw up: hallapnenoway
Rock: Chyee
Eyes: Op
1: Mot
2: Nam
3: Koz
4: Old
5: ooch
6: sapam
7: napan
9: ursen

Gavin has told us that there aren't words for "I love you, goodnight, I'm sick." We're excited for his very good friend K*** to pass court on October 8 (Please join us in prayer for successful court on the 8th- this sweet boy has been waiting for a long time for his parents to come and we all love him), come to the United States and webcam, so maybe they can maintain their Benchi language with each other.


  1. precious precious! we'll get K***** home asap so these boys can talk in their language & gavin will pick it right back up!!! loved this video!! he's so precious! please tell gavin thank you very, very much!!

  2. I loved this video. He is such a beautiful smart little boy. I couldn't help but grin when I saw him trying not to giggle and give his big Gavin smile when he thought some of the words were funny. God love him, he is such a gift to us all!!! God Bless you all