Chakanchala – short cut to a sane world

In a busy world there is so much we are supposed to do that gets in the way of what we want to do. We al need a Chakanchala or two to help improve that balance.

My first Chackanchala moment came to me after a chance evening meeting in a Scandinavian city convenience store with fellow delegates at the world adult learning conference.

I was asked in fluent Spanish and then halting English if I could show these Latin American adult educators the way to walk back to the conference hotel. It became clear that the spoken word could convey as much clarity as two scratched lines in the gravel outside showing that the route was straight ahead on then sharp right. But then I scratched a new diagonal short cut line to show how they could save 10 minutes of the walk. ‘Chakanchala’ they exclaimed with delight and explained that ‘Chakanchala’ is an indigenous South Ameriican word for exactly the short cut cut back that teir weary legs needed. ‘Chakanchala’ they repeated triumphantly and then thanked me for supplying the directions.

The word did not come from any of our languages but we all tried it out and found that Chackunchala danced off the tongue and sang in the ear with the confident sparkling optimism of a word which has done you a favour and knew it!
I know no other word which is so rhythmically positive – so I will borrow this help cut then corners I don’t need to go rond and leave me longer to savoir the routes I can enjoy.

Let others seek ‘efficiency savings’ and ‘rationalisation’ but I will be seeking my own personal Chakanchalas – and maybe you will too.


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