Saturday, July 11, 2015

O'odham Humor - Rosella at the Movies

My mom now lives in an assisted living place on The Rez (Archie Hendricks Assisted Living).  She wasn't happy about it at first, which is understandable.  I think it's hard for people to admit that they need help, especially someone as stubborn as Rosella.  It took her some time to adjust.  She's been there for almost two months now, and she is now happier with her new digs.

I've been out to visit her a couple of times and I try to give her a call every few weeks.  I plan to call her more often, now that she's more adjusted to living there. 

There are only 10 or so other residents in her building, and she gets a lot of individual attention.  She has a daily visit from a nurse practitioner which has proved to be invaluable.  Many of the constant minor complaints that she previously ignored are getting addressed.  All of her meals are prepared for her and they cater to an O'odham pallet.  She was very excited to tell me about their plans to serve tamales one weekend. 

They also have a lot of programming for the elders.  They keep her busy.  She does lots of arts and crafts, which she loves.  They take the elders on field trips and out shopping, which is one of her favorite things in the world to do (other than gambling).  She takes walks with a buddy around the facilities every morning and every evening and takes advantage of much of the daily activities.  She especially loves being around other O'odham elders and speaking O'odham.

Rosella's arts and crafts project at Archie Hendrick's

They sometimes take the elders to go see movies in the theaters in Casa Grande.  She was happy about going to see, "Hot Pursuit" in theaters.  She couldn't remember the name of it, she just told me the entire plotline, until I guessed the title (Now I don't need to see it).  Popcorn is also her favorite thing to eat in the world, which I can't emphasize enough.  I'm sure that them giving her movie theater popcorn is 50% of the reason she finally decided to like it there.

One of the times I took her to the movies. 

Her assisted living place is right next to the Archie Hendricks Skilled Nursing Home, which is where the elders who need more care live.  The elders who live in her facility often walk (or roll) over to the Nursing Home next door for church services, presentations or movies.

Recently she went to the nursing home for their "movie day" to watch an old John Wayne movie.  

My mom's first language is O'odham, so she uses the same sing-songy language emphases that she would in O'odham when she speaks in English.  Sometimes I find it really difficult to translate her way of speaking on paper for a general audience.  If you're accustomed to the way that O'odham elders speak, you may be able to hear her voice.  

Here's Rosella's story:

"The other day I walked next door for a movie. They were John Wayne mo-vie, I don't REmember the title, it was an OLLLD one.  AND... " she says in a whisper, as if she got special treatment "they gave free POPcorn."

"There was this OLLLLD ke:li (old man)."  She paused, then asked her self, "HAS cegig?" (What's his name?)  then answered herself, "Oh ya, I think his name is... JOHHHN." (Not his real name).

"We were watching the movie... AND JOHN was JUST SLEEPING!" she said, outraged. "His caretaker tried to wake him.  She shook his shoulder and said,  'John! Are you going to watch the movie?" and HE didn't wake up!


He was sleeping reaaaaal DEEPLY.

He didn't EVENNN wake up!
She tried AGAIN.

Then she said, 'JOHN....JOHN.... Do you want some POPcorn?'

Finally, THAT woke him up.  She asked, 'Do you want some POPcorn? and he woke up and yelled right away, REAL quick, 'NO, I WANT RABBIT!"

Then she said, matter-of-factly, as if it was perfectly understandable "He must have been dreaming about rabbit."

"Then he said, 'I don't want your POPcorn! I WANT RABBIT!"


I hope if we ever get a movie theater on The Nation, that they'll have popcorn and rabbit at the concessions, you know, for the elders. 

More blog posts featuring Rosella:
Rosella's New Haircut
Nuns and Non Dairy Creamer
Confessions to My Mom
Crepe Paper Flowers 
Eee! That Cat!
What The Heck Is That Noise?
Purse Shopping with Rosella
Rosella, the Music Aficionado
Rosella's REO Speedway Adventure
Adventures of Rosella: Lost and Found