Friday, November 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Shirley

Happy Birthday Shirley! I wish I was home and we could celebrate with Mexican dip, rice salad, oreo balls, and ice cream cake, but alas, I am in Africa. In honor of me please have grandma take you out to a nice dinner and order the most expensive item on the menu! And a salad!

I went back to Keur Yaay today to attend the bi-weekly English class. On my way there I actually ran into one of the women who participates in the group at a breakfast stand. Waiting for her to get her food and then having to walk/ push my bike instead of riding was going to make us late and I was already getting frustrated with this because I really want to make a good impression since I really like the head woman, Boya. We got there almost 15 minutes late and were the first people there so I tried to tell myself to take a chill pill and enjoy. Unfortunately I got up early since the class was supposed to start at 9 it started at 10:15.

The class was very interesting. Senegalese teaching style is so different from the US methodology. At home I am a fastidious note taker, it helps me pay attention, but here, at least with this teacher, the students aren't allowed to take notes during the lesson and copy everything after the fact. The entire class is conducted closed book and memorization is king. The teacher also really put the students on the spot, which I thought was a little embarrassing, but I think some of it might have to do with me. He's definitely intimidated to have a native English speaker in the room and although he asked for my correction and help he also resents it. We were going over "to be" and he kept saying I'm as "Ahm" Since I'm also attempting to learn a new language I'm very sensative to pronunciation issues especially with letter combinations that don't exist in one's native tongue. I know I sound like a fool when attempting to say a word that has a "nd" combination, but French and Wolof have a long "I" sound so I thought I should correct. He merely told the class that there are several different pronunciations. Not true.

I will have to test my boundaries more in the class. I don't think he realizes that I understand everything he says in French even though we converse in French with each other because he will give me slight put downs when I make corrections. Oh well. Boya is really into me giving suggestions and corrections so that's all that matters.

Going to Keur Yaay and running an errand afterwards were the only productive things I did today. I hung out with my family for a few hours after lunch and made tea, but I can only take so much sitting without talking or looking at each other so I hid in my room and read Pride and Prejudice. I fall in love with Mr. Darcy every single time. It doesn't matter how many times I read it. I forced myself away from my love affair after a few hours to hang out with the fam again. I was rewarded with watching anime dubbed in French.

Series of events to end the night:
1. Watching anime dubbed in French with my sisters who are in their late 20s and early 30s
2. Watching the 3 year old Ahmed "drink" water out of a bag he kept refilling only to have people become irate when they stepped/ slipped in big puddles
3. My dad having a pitcher of water instead of Fosters Clark/ Kool-Aid and having to wait 10min while my brother went to buy some as our dinner got cold
4. Ahmed trying to breastfeed with every woman in the family... including me... I told him I wouldn't give him anymore candy if he kept grabbing me
5. Watching a special 1 hour marathon of Whitney Houston videos... Ok, not going to lie it was actually a little entertaining. I love Whitney. Who doesn't love the Body Guard? Mamy, my sister, personally loves "Greatest Love of All" in case you were wondering.

This is my life. What will tomorrow possibly bring?

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