26 June 2008

A (Not As Brief As I Thought) Brief Update

I'm online early today because our language assignment was to come to the post, look up a news article in French, and write a summary (also in French, natch). And we had to find out how much it costs to send stuff to the States. Answer: a LOT. 800 CFA for a letter, nearly 10,000 for a package of 1 kg. So you have an idea of what that means, we stagiares (I spelled that wrong in my last post) make around 11,000 a week, which as I've mentioned is enough to buy us lunch each day and laundry detergent as needed. Our host families provide breakfast and dinner - otherwise it would be really difficult to live off this amount.

Food update: bouilli is good. If you look for that word online you find it refers to many different foods, and there may be a better spelling, but anyway, here it's a rice porridge with sugar and (powdered) milk. Another yummy snack: dégé, which is sweetened yogurt with millet in it. I'm certain that one is misspelled, by the way. There may be an "n" in it, for one thing - "n's" are really hard for me to hear in Mooré.

After lunch...more language. 3 of the 4 classes today. Fortunately, our teacher JZ (who is actually a French teacher by profession) recognizes how hard it is to study language that many hours in one day, so he's setting an easy pace today. Lesson of the morning: Scrabble in French is a humbling experience. Not that I needed any humbling where French is concerned.

Yesterday we had to give a 10 minute lesson in French. Monday, 15 minutes. And I'm changing topics because the one I picked first (phases of the moon and the seasons, CETL people will know why I chose those) isn't actually in the curriculum (it's in the book, though...I just didn't realise that there was anything in the book NOT in the curriculum). So lots of work to do between now and lundi.


Anonymous said...

What is CFA? What is the exchange rate? What is your salary as a trainee? Is a stagiary the same as an aspirant? How much is lunch and laundry detergent? How much is powdered milk?


eileen said...

The return-peace-corp-volunteer appears to be giving you another lesson. Be strong, one day it will all click ! Besides, you KNOW you want to be fluent in a language your folks can't understand.

Max said...

Hey Dave,

Hang in there. It's rough enough learning French, but a non-Indo-European language can have lots of stuff we're not used to. You'll eventually get the hang of it though.

Man, spending a week's salary to mail a package? That's nuts. At least you're getting some awesome food though. That counts for a whole lot. Keep posting. We all wanna keep reading.

Sharon said...

Just think of it this way. It could be much worse. It could be me. Miss you bunches. We got a new dog and yes we still have Gizmo, we now have a female shih-tzu named Pookie. Just trying to fill you spot in the house. Sure is quiet without you. Can't wait to read more. Love Ya.