January 3, 1997 - Personal Web Page: Peace Corps Comic Book: Tales from the Heart by Central African Republic RPCV Cindy Goff

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Central African Republic: Peace Corps Central African Republic : The Peace Corps in the Central African Republic: January 3, 1997 - Personal Web Page: Peace Corps Comic Book: Tales from the Heart by Central African Republic RPCV Cindy Goff

By Admin1 (admin) on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 12:13 pm: Edit Post

Peace Corps Comic Book: Tales from the Heart by Central African Republic RPCV Cindy Goff

Read and comment on this story from the Central African Republic RPCV Web Site about a Peace Corps Comic Book in 6 volumes called Tales from the Heart by Cindy Goff based on her experiences as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Central African Republic. This is a terrific introduction to the Peace Corps and a lot of fun to read. The comic books has been out of print for several years and are a little hard to find. We picked up our copies on ebay. Read the story at:

Tales from the Heart*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Tales from the Heart

A few pages from a series of comic books by Cindy Goff, Rafael Nieves, and Seitu Hayden.

This work is copyright 1988 by Goff, Nieves, and Hayden, and I violate their copyright with hope that it won't bother them. The books were published by Slave Labor Graphics, 983 S. Bascom Ave., San Jose California 95128, 1-800-866-8929, and can be purchased through them at quite good prices, I believe.

Cindy was a Peace Corps volunteer in Central African Republic, I think 83-85. She tells stories from her experiences, putting Cathy Grant in her place. The stories can be quite poignant, but provide a wide range of feelings. The art is great, as can be appreciated from these few examples.

The pages reproduced here are from Tales from the Heart No. 3, Chapter 4: Fits & Starts. The prologue shows the freshly-trained friends Cathy, Julie, Constance, and Karen heading up country to their posts, driven by Barry, with whom they are not close.

After getting Cathy barely settled, all the other Americans take off, leaving her hungry and curious. She asks her way to the market, which turns out to be a few women sitting under some mango trees.

Cathy knows a bit of Sango, but apparently has spent too much time with Americans, and can't deal with Central Africans speaking their national language. The learning process illustrated so well here is probably universal.

I have provided a few translations on top of these pages. I apologize for the poor quality of the images. I provide a copy of the text below each page.

Panel 1: Cathy says "Bara ala!" which is the greeting to more than one person. She thinks to herself, "Nothing but peanut sticks [a snack food] and onions here."

Panel 2: She says to herself, "It definitely looks like tuna fish tonight. Hope Brenda [her postmate] has a can opener." Somebody speaks to her in what sounds like gibberish to Cathy: "Baraminguimademoisellelleiriti...". I presume the extra "lle" is a typo.

Panel 3: The woman continues "mbiSimonembiyetisalakwanam" while Cathy says "W-what?".

Panel 4: "Mbitene!IritimbiSimoneMbiyetitenetenamotenetikwati-". Cathy catches the basic phrase: "Iri ti mo - Simone? Oui? I don't quite...". Somebody new pipes in "Mademoiselle!..."

Panel 5: He continues "...gasi! Gatibadatimbi!" Cathy replies "Bara mo." He insists "Ganambitibadatimbi!" She fortunately doesn't understand, and says, "I'm sorry. I can't - slower - uh yeke yeke."

Panel 6: She is now lost and confused as they try to get things out of her: "Mbiyetitienetenetibongotimo-" and "...moyetilue...rmbenifin...datimbi...". Cathy just says "Excuse me... but... er... I... uh... ..."

Panel 7: Cathy turns red presumably and says "Sorry, I have to... uh" while they wonder about this moundjou.

Panel 8: The caption reads "My cheeks red and burning, I raced back to the hut. I'd been so smug about my knowledge of Sango before in front of my friends. NOW..."

A quick glossary of some of the Sango:

* Bara = Hello
* ala = they or you (plural)
* mingui = much, many, very, ...
* mademoiselle = young lady
* iri = name
* ti = one of two prepositions (see below) meaning from, of, ...
* mbi = first person singular, I
* ye = like, want
* tene = say, talk, speech, things to say, ...
* na = the other preposition, meaning to, in, with, ...
* sala = verb meaning do, make, ...
* kwa = noun meaning work, so sala kwa means work
* mo = you, 2nd person singular
* ga = come
* ba = see
* da = house
* bongo = cloth, clothes
* moundjou = term for Europeans, i.e. white person

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Date created: 1/3/97
Last modified: 1/3/97
Maintained by: Alan Saul

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