Thursday, August 16, 2007

Deep in the foothills of the Sahel, a proverb is well known

It reads - As one loves his beard, one should also love his mother. Admittedly it's not an old proverb (I just wrote it), but it serves its purpose. On a completely related note, during class this morning Delphine stopped my french monologue, reached her hand to my face, and pulled a spider out of my beard. It had crawled down from the rafters and found a new home in the follicle radiations spiraling out of my right cheek. Thus, I will be relatively clean-shaven for swear in.
About swear in, it gets closer every day! By next Friday I will be an official volunteer, and on Monday I will be in my house drawing up plans for my garden. That makes me think of cedar chips, which I heard practically spontaneously combusted the other day somewhere in Texas. Is this true?
As far as things I'm reading go, Jitterbug Perfume is a great book by Tom Robbins, and All the King's Men, by Robert Penn Warren is wonderful. The language is smooth and not too heavy.
Language classes are still going well. I'm getting pretty along in Lobiri, and I'm really enjoying Italian. It's a nice hobby and for the most part completely unrelated to West Africa, which makes for a good break from everything. The other night I was studying alone in my room before bed, and somebody startled me with their yawning. The Idiots Guide to Learning Italian is so involving that it took me a few seconds to realize it was me.
The Peace Corps has a good structure to their language teaching, and I think I might summarize it in a blog soon. It cuts out a lot of structure at the beginning in favor of "survival" language, which is really easy. After only a few hours you can ask directions, order food, and tell somebody your name. You won't be fluent by any means, but it's a start. I don't know if that would be helpful for any of you, but I think it's helpful enough to pass on.
This week has been really interesting, but I'm going to have to use some of my free time tomorrow morning to tell you about it, the computer is telling me I only have three minutes remaining.


Rachel said...

Oooooh...just think...if that was in your beard, what all kinds of things could be in your hair!!? I would cut it all off just to be safe!

Grant said...

First your shaving your facial hair to kick an innocent creature out of its beard home and next you'll be cutting down the rainforests. Peacecorp hippie? I think not.

subash said...

I agree with Grant, come on Clay. What is peaceful about uprooting locals? As for the allergies thing I will look around and see if i can find something non-medicinal.