Saturday, December 11, 2010

November 30, 2010

Language Immersion-
I'm spending 2 weeks in a small bush village. No electricity or running water in the whole village, nor a water pump. The women here pull their water by hand from a well that is 225ft deep. Its only 8km from a main road and the nearest market town. There isn't a single shago (shop) in the village, nor any ladies selling breakfast foods in the mornings (like there are in Hamdy and other lager villages). I'm in the village with one other PCT (Ellie) and out Hausa teacher Zakari. We are not supposed to speak any english at all. It is very difficult (akwai wuya so sai) but I can already, after 2 days, see improvements. I am constantly getting frusterated with myself and constantly having to remind myself that it is perfectly normal that I don't know hardly any Hausa. I've only been here for a month now. Sannu sannu- as they say here -slwly slowly. Also- zero privacy- we'll see how that goes. Sai hankuri- have patients. The nights in the village are so beautiful. There is no moon and the samaniya (sky) is so huge on this prairie landscape. Reminds me fondly of west Texas nights. Gosh language immersion in hard. Class last all day long and there is NO ESCAPING HAUSA! ha.
Tea Time: Drinking tea is a big part of the social scene in Niger. To pass the time, men sit together on the streets and make tea in tiny kettles over small charcol fires. Each night Zakari (lnaguage trainer) and Ellie and I sit around and sing random American songs that Zakari knows. The tea is about half sugar. You drink it out of tiny tiny cups about the size of shot glasses. What makes the tea good, according to Nigeriens, is the amount of bubbles the tea maker can manage to produce by swiftly pouring the tea between two cups. Its mostly the men who make tea- but its fun so I'll probably make it a lot. Its kinda funny- the women tend to visit eachother's houses but the men hang out in the streets and outside of shops. Its a muslim thing- that the women stay separate from the men.

1 comment: