N togo ko LEGA Tenga!

9 10 2010

Let me start by saying this post takes place over a few days so it might be a little disjointed. Plus I’m typing this on my blackberry so have patience! Haha

10.02.2010
Today I’m going into Bobo. Currently I’m in the truck waiting to leave. Its 7:30 am. I love taking the bus in the morning because the people love seeing me and I feel really welcomed each time I come. This morning it rained pretty hard so I alomost didn’t come, let’s hope the roads aren’t too bad! Yesterday was a fun day, I started with a teeny bit of Dexter then my morning dioula lesson. The lesson was focused on the market place so we went to the marché and reviewed the names of things, how to ask for prices, how to ask them to lower the price, etc. The greatest part was that after I was done discussing everything I wanted with the vendors, my teacher ended up buying for me! It is amazing how generous people are here. They have so little, especially compared to me, but they still use their small amount of expendable income to buy little gifts for me, like my teacher did. After dioula I rested a little chez moi and made some popcorn. This is something I do too often these days. But it tastes so good! Maybe it’s just because in Burkina anything with the slightest hint of flavor tastes amazing, but I swear it just plain tastes better here when I make it on my little stove. I think I’ve gone a little crazy.

When I was dobee devouring the popcorn that should have lasted a normal person two days, I went to hang out with Delphine at the restaurant. It was so hot though that I had to sit in the back where there is the big hangar so it seems cooler. Eventually Del cam to join me as well as her brother and his friends. One of her brother’s friends was currently at university studying math and computers. He is in the process of getting his doctorate! I love seeing cases like that because it is so against the norm, especially in a smaller village like my own. I ate lunch with them at the restaurant because the thought of cooking in that heat did not appeal AT ALL!

I left the restaurant after I was finished eating and returned home. Once home I decided to read some of Le petite prince, only fair since the whole morning was spent on dioula. I’m wishing more and more each day that I could have come into this experience having learned more french. That way I could have spent more time focusing on dioula during stage and not worrying about getting the basic french down. Now I learned a ton in stage regarding french, I was impeased with myself and much I was able to grow in those weeks, but it just would have been better to grow that much in local language. Also the teachers were great and knew how to teach adult learners. I’m learning more and more that that is a rare find here, or maybe its just my current tutor. it’s really difficult now to choose which language I should focus my learning on. I haven’t mastered french yet so clearly I need to still work on that, and I want to live in France after peace corps so I need to get a lot better if I hope to live and work there. But on the other hand, to become a true village member here dioula would be better. When people are just chatting around me, it is not french they choose, it is dioula. I think I just have to spend half my time on french and half my time on dioula. For dioula my focus is vocab and sentence structure and then I can just go to the marché and practice with the ladies. For french I need to keep reading dench literature, magazines, and newspapers to expand my conversational competency. Also I will listen to French radio to better my aural comprehension since radio personalities speak so quick, it will be good practice. Lastly I have to force myself to continue speaking with a Parisian accent. It is really easy to just copy the Burkinabé accent which isn’t how I really want to sound. I love the sound of a native French accent!

Anyway, back to my day…I was reading my book when my host sister, Aminata, started speaking to me in dioula and amazingly I knew what she was saying! She was asking me for help with her rice because the rain was coming and she needed to put it back in the sacks. She was amazed as much as I was that I knew what she was saying and my host mother started laughing in excitement as well. Then Ami told me that I understand more dioula then the previous volunteers and that I was becoming more Burkinabé by the day. Then I picked up the small bundle of straw used here as brooms (which work really well surprisingly) and started sweeping the rice into a pile. Ami loved it! While we were scooping up rice, me Ami and her mom, I told them that the marché ladies gave me an African name. It is LEGA Tenga. LEGA is the last name of my host family. They both loved it and started laughing and now only call me Tenga. We managed to get the rice into safety just a minute or two before the rain hit. In dioula to say that rain is coming you say: sanji bi na na.

*** I’m currently at the maternity ward waiting for my friend Sanata to gave her baby so I’ll have to finish this later. Hopefully I will have good news of a lovely little baby next time!

Talk soon… Love you all!

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One response

11 10 2010
Helene

Sounds great – so glad the languages are coming to you so quickly!!

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