“where can I find doughnut grease?“

I smiled at the women in the covered market that I’ve passed every time I’ve been to Monrovia. Today, having walked back from meetings at the Ministry of Health I decided to take a look around. Not just browsing, I was searching for doughnut grease.

Doughnut grease was in the adjacent building and so followed their pointing, found another woman and asked her. “over there in the Nigerian section” she pointed and smiled. So I walked on, past the bright colored buckets you find everywhere and the onions and soap you find everywhere.

Finally, a woman with dark decorative lines cut into her face smiled and pointed out the two types of donut grease. I bought 50LD worth (less than a dollar) and then asked a few questions about some other things on her table.


Only it might have been a much different encounter if I hadn’t learned on the way down to the capital that shea butter is called doughnut grease. Learning the language of a country isn’t just about speech. Learning the language is about the way people interact and hand gestures, idioms and euphemisms. I’m just starting to pick up on those.

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply