I’m not learning Pulaar like I know I should—my French has blossomed, but in doing so it has sucked away moisture that should be nurturing my little shriveled pula-fuuta sprout.
In my defense, Pulaar is nuts—there’s a different verb for every single possible activity a person could engage in at any distinct time of the day: eating breakfast, eating lunch, eating dinner, eating lunch leftovers at 5pm. There’s a verb for extending your legs and a verb for retracting your legs, and there’s a different verb for extending or retracting your arms. For being in good health, for being ashamed, for washing bowls. There are two separate verbs for “to have happened in the past.” There’s apparently a verb for “to find rocks in one’s millet,” but the one that’s more applicable to my life at the moment is “to pee repeatedly on one’s feet no matter how one attempts to use the Turkish toilet.” (I don’t know that this one actually exists, but it damn well should.)
Once you get past the verbs (not that you really can), there’s no indefinite article but there are twenty-four definite articles, each for a different class of nouns, my favorite being “ngon: This class deals with water, body parts, objects that enclose other objects, and noises.”
You get some sense of why were were all dreading our language interviews today, and why language class has a tendency to put trainees in very, very foul moods.
I have to run home now so that I can attend a baptism, or the baptism party, I’m not really sure which. Apparently the whole affair started at 8am this morning and will continue on late into the night, but my sister and I are just going for the afternoon segment, I believe.
Thanks to everyone who’s sent letters and postcards my way—I have the beginnings of a very fine wall mosiac thanks to Maryann and Kathryn.