Chairing a meeting when I am the only English speaking person in a room of Xhosa speakers is NOT FUN. This afternoon I had what I thought would be a fairly straight-forward meeting, but which grew in complication. In the end everything went ok, but so much of the meeting was only in Xhosa that I really might as well not have been there. I could have insisted - but it would have meant embarrassing other church leaders, which I didn't feel was necessary. But the unconscious message given by the Xhosa speakers was, 'you might be one of our ministers, but it doesn't really matter whether you understand or not, because we are pretty sure that you don't have a contribution to make anyway'.
I know that it is not intentional. I believe that in other circumstances I could cope, even in spite of the language difficulties. But at the end of the day I am left seriously doubting my competence. And acknowledging that what really bothers me is that I feel stupid.