Bakka, Part 1

By Peter

For the first couple years I taught at Yesler, I had a student named Bakka, whose family was from the Oromo region of Ethiopia, but he had lived in the U.S. most (if not all) of his life. He was good with computers, but his best talent was that he could talk with an Ethiopian accent that sounded so real that you could have sworn he arrived in the United States just a few months ago. He would go up to strangers and begin talking in this accent, and they would be completely taken in. Often he would start a sentence with the words, “In Africa…” followed by something completely outrageous, and people would believe him because he sounded so genuine.

I originally wrote my story with a character named Bakka who liked to do the same thing. I planned to change his name, but no other name suited him. With the help of  the Yesler lab’s director, I tracked the real Bakka down (he is in college now), and got his permission to give my character his name.