This summer, here in the Palo Alto Unitarian Universalist church, the theme for Sunday school has been “UU World Travelers.” People from the congregation who have been to another country, or lived in another country, come into the Sunday school and share something about that country with the children. The person who was scheduled to lead the UU World Travelers program this Sunday had a last-minute crisis and couldn’t come, so I said I’d lead the program. But what country could I talk about? I haven’t been overseas in thirty years, and the last time I was in Canada was quite a few years ago. But I realized I had lots of photographs and information about New Bedford, so that’s what I did in Sunday school today — told the children about New Bedford.
The best part was teaching the kids how to say “New Bedford” with a New Bedford accent. “Say it like this,” I said to the children, “Nu Befit.”
“New Bedfod,” they replied, raggedly.
“No, more like this,” I said, “Nu befit.”
“Nu Befit,” they said in chorus.
“And these,” I said pointing to a photograph of marine crustaceans with claws, Homerus americanus, “are lobstihs.”
“Lobstihs,” they said, grinning at me.
A little more practice, and I think I could teach them how to speak in Nu Befitese.