Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Spawolfranglaar du Noord

the title of this post really sums up my feelings about all the languages that are bouncing around in my brain lately. here is how i feel like speaking "mbido yiddi aller au marche para ver mi sehilam kono je ne peut pas sabu es muy dificile without a car." not that that sentence should mean anything but it just gives all of you an appreciation for how perpetually confised i am.
that being said...i have now cried 3 times in language class. still the only one in pulaar du nord to even shed a tear. it makes me feel ridiculous, but the rest of my classmates r super supportive and today we werer even joking about making tshirts: mine would say
"if i cry for 15 minutes in teh middle of language assessments can i still achieve the rquired level of intermediate low?"

our assessments went decently for me except that i just could not understand one of the very first questions whiuch as it turns out was: "are you worried about forgetting your experience as a doula when you get to your site?"
ya. i hope that all of you at home r staring with your mouths open at how ridiculously difficult a question that is to answer let alone understand after 4 weeks of a language!
though last night i had my very first dream in pulaar. at least i was speaking pulaar in some of it. gotta love meflaquine (anti malarial).

so in response to katys post, FGC refers to Female Genital Cutting and you shoudl totally not feel stupid katy. im glad you asked because than others can learn too. i actually have to present on it tomorrow in cross cultural training. im not looking forward to that discussion. it can just be so exhausting to put on those "cultural sensitivity goggles" especially regarding such a controversial and fiery issue. but up in the Fouta where i am going it is common for girls to be married off at 12 or 13, although FGC is still illegal it happens among the Pulaar and Sereer ethnic groups in senegal anyway.

thank you to lisa and wendy for their amazingly thoughtful and surprise packages! everyone was so happy to share the candy lisa and wendy i have been enjoying my blueberry oatmeal every morning! really, letters and hearing about all of your lives at home and what is going on is just so great. sometimes when youre the one to go away you can forget that life goes on without you at home and its nice to be reminded of normalcy.

lately i think ive been caught up in feeling guilty for feeling so overwhelmed with how hard things are getting. the anticipation of community entry and just feeling not as "hardcore" as i thought i was. i guess there has been a feeling that all of us have been trying to project that were fine and we can take it and were tough and can handle all the frustrations. the truth is i think that all of our egos are still very involved and maybe mine is just widdling away faster than others?
today we got our snazzy PC issued bikes and i just was dreading the day while everyone else is talking about riding them 30k to the beach this weekend, i was fantisizing about going in a van with the other volunteers and sipping on a margarita on the beach by the time they all get there sweaty and exhausted! is that wrong?

its crazy how exhausted we all are. and its hard to remember that living your life in another language or 2 or 3 as the case may be is entirely draining and thats okay!

ive decided to have my computer sent to me. that move makes me feel not hardcore at all but i think acceptance of the idea that the pc experience is evolving is going to be my challenge. because im ultimately an urban volunteer i wont have the struggle of dealing with no running water or electricity most of the time, but in some ways my day to day interactions will be more stressful. i will be called a toubab everyday and asked for money and proposed to and have to deal with people haa heewi.

please do keep the emails coming and the letters. its hard to explain how much it brightens my day to hear about everyone at home. and please dont think that im suffering here. in fact sometimes the suffering coles from feeling like im not suffering enough? if that makes sense? really though, i think im feeling comfortable being more realistic about my feelings and writing on my bloggam when im not necessarily feeling 100 percent.
im off to the beach this weekend inshallah.

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