UNO: Breaking cultural barriers

Uno is the new hit with my host family.  Last night, we taught my youngest host brother, Damian, how to play Uno.  Damian is 5 years old and always seems to be just bursting with energy.  He says my name a lot, but I usually can’t figure out the context.  He pronounces it “Zjenn – EE – fur”.  That said, I think he’s absolutely hilarious, and I wanted to share some of his best one-liners thus far…both during Uno and outside of the game.

  • “Vine Jennifer!” he yells when I come down the stairs.  (In Romanian, this means “Jennifer’s coming!).
  • His siblings taught him how to say “come to eat” in English.  So every night for dinner, I hear his feet running up the stairs, then he slowly peers around the door and says “Zjenn-EE-fur!  Cahm to EEEEat!”
  • During Uno, we had a blast.  Any skip card, any draw two card, he called out my name, even if I wasn’t the next player in line.  He continued to jibber-jabber, throwing my name around, and even made the comment “Jennifer, I’m going to teach you a lesson you’ll never forget!”  I laughed so hard – it was hilarious!  Then, when his mother called him downstairs for a minute, he handed his cards to his sister and said “Don’t play until I get back, understand?!”

All of that said, I’m really bonding with my host family and enjoying getting to know each one of my host brothers and sisters.  And I’m so glad I brought Uno – we’ve all enjoyed playing together.  Even Damian managed to win a round!