Bing Ley asks me if I love English. The question takes me by surprise. I’ve been speaking English all my life and it never occurred to me that I could love the language. I tell him I think it’s alright. Ley looks down at his sneakers and takes his hands out of the pockets of his gray hoodie. He isn’t very tall but he hunches with apparent deference, making him look smaller. With an earnest smile, Ley tells me slowly and deliberately, “I…love…English.” With every word, he emphatically taps his chest and makes sure I understand him. He looks up at the two, tall, young Caucasian men, standing on either side of him. They nod their approval and one of them encouragingly puts his hand on Ley’s shoulder.
“How did you learn English?” I ask.
Ley once again looks at the two young men and with a broad grin and says “The church taught me.”