December 15, 2010
First day of this mini-stage and, surprisingly, it wasn’t as torturous as we all assumed it would be. We’re splitting our learning into two languages: le Français and Mooré, and to make things even more enjoyable we are utilizing both formal learning style and then application. So we have two hours of French in the morning, two hours of applying that French within the city, break for lunch, then we apply our Mooré for an hour and 45 minutes, then meet to learn Mooré for an hour and a half.
Today – since it was our first day in the city – we went around saluering (greeting) important(ish) people like the guys at the post office, the police, and the people Hugo (one of the volunteers who live here) works with. We learned that pretty much 87% of the population speaks French which is a HUGE change from where we all have been in the past three months (and probably why we’re refreshing our vocabulary and grammar). But really all we did was tour the city and then learn a few words in Mooré: Roli/Doli = petit ami (boyfriend or girlfriend) ß the difference between using an “R” or a “D” depends on what part of the country you’re in and has nothing to do with gender. I forgot what else we learned, but I didn’t have my notebook on me so I couldn’t write it down.
Anyway, Christmas and New Years are still getting planned. Looks like I’ll be traveling with Ashley to Josh’s site for the festivities of Noel. Shannon will also be there (one of his site mates), so I won’t be a third wheel. New Years – well, that is definitely undetermined. I’m not worried about it and don’t mind (at this point) if I spend it alone at site. I’m not with the people I most want to spend that day/night with – so why put so much pressure on myself to make it memorable? It’s just another day in a year && I’ve got two of them here. Speaking of time here: I’ve figured I really only have 13 months of work here: Pretty much, the first 6 months at site are used to get integrated, learn the people, language and functions of your work and then you have your 13 months of work, (accumulated) 2 months of travel and the last 3 months are for closing up your work, saying goodbye to your village and then preparing to go home. So I’m feeling a little better about it all.