Peace Corps year 1

pulaar is fubared

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.

8 replies on “pulaar is fubared”

Clare, you seem to be doing o.k. Your mom showed me how to access your web site. Keep up the good work, I’m sure you’ll get the hang of Pulaar. Glad to hear your French is getting better. Felicitations et je te souhaite courage et si possible un peu de plaisir. Ma.Ma Barbara

I am a RPCV from Senegal(2001-2004) while bored at work back in America! You provided me with lots of joy to imagine you embarking on this wonderful journey. I will keep checking on your progress and I wish you the best of luck. Thanks for sharing your experience. Watch out for the amoebas….still battling them 11mo after COS!
Jamm ak salaam,

Clare, you know, now that you’ve spoiled us with such frequent updates, we can’t just sit and wait. We begin to worry about your safety and happiness. And I just learned today that Allison is now on a pleasure jaunt in frickin’ Kashmir, so I’m a little vulnerable. Write to us!

oh my god. amoebas? clare, i’ve changed my mind. no more adventures for you. come back home. i heard “slide” on the radio this morning and now my separation anxiety is kickin’ up something serious.

Erika – glad you stopped by! where in Senegal were you?

MaMa – glad you found me, too 🙂

Leslie and Amy – don’t worry, I haven’t done anything Allison-esque, just been alternately busy, mildly sick, busy, relaxed, and rushing home for the break-fast meal in the evenings.

Everyone – I’ve got a monster update in the works, I promise, plus oodles of photos. It’s just a matter of finding the time to sit at a computer and get it all up there! 🙂

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